The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, has died, Belarusian state-owned outlet Belta reported on Nov. 26, with reference to the department’s press secretary, Anatoly Glaz.
Makei was 64 years old. He had been foreign minister in the government of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko since Aug. 20, 2012.
The Belarusian state agency did not provide any details about Makei’s death.
News agency Reuters, reporting Makei’s death, said that before the 2020 Belarusian presidential elections and mass anti-government protests, Makei had been leading efforts to improve Belarus' relations with the West, and that he had criticized Russia.
However, he backed the Lukashenko regime after the mass protests started, and said Western agents had provoked them.
Commenting on Makei’s death on Twitter, former Belarusian diplomat and minister of culture Pavel Latushka said Makei could have been a prospective challenger to Lukashenko.
“As ambassador in Paris and Madrid in 2018, I was confidentially asked the question: ‘Can Vladimir Makei become real competitor to Lukashenko in (the) elections? My answer was: ‘Yes,he can,’” Latushka tweeted.
“(Then) in 2020 Makei betrayed himself, (and) it seems he could not survive this. Today Vladimir Makei died…”