According to the Belarusian state-owned media, Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei died today at 64.
The statement below is the official announcement from the Belarusian Telegraph Agency explaining his biography: “Vladimir Vladimirovich Makei was born in 1958 in the Grodno region.
In 1980 he graduated from the Minsk State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages, in 1993 – the Diplomatic Academy of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In 1980-1993 he served in the Armed Forces of the USSR and Belarus. He was a reserve colonel. In 1993-1995 – the third secretary of the information and humanitarian cooperation department, the second secretary of the analysis and forecasting department, the second secretary of the secretariat of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus. In 1995-1996 – Deputy Head of the State Protocol Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1996-1999 – Representative of the Republic of Belarus to the Council of Europe, Advisor to the Embassy of Belarus in France. In 1999-2000 he was the head of the pan-European cooperation department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus. In 2000-2008 – Assistant to the President of Belarus. In 2008-2012 – Head of the Administration of the President of Belarus.
Since August 22, 2012, Vladimir Makei has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus. He had the diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.”
However, his role as Foreign Minister has been viewed as an unequivocal buoy to President Lukashenko, especially during the 2020 elections and suppressed protests. During the early days of the protests, Makei said at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs meeting that everyone who disagreed with the state policy should leave the ministry. He also forbade the staff to participate in the protest activity.
According to Pavel Latusko, former Belarusian ambassador to France and Poland, Makei seemed willing to negotiate wit the West and improve relations until the 2020 elections, when he made a complete about-face in foreign policy and aligned deeper with the Russian Federation. He also accused the protests of being “Western-backed”.
His death was completely unexpected as he was supposed to meet Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on Monday. This sudden and unexplained passing has already prompted the Russian Federation and Self-Declared Donetsk People’s Republic to issue statements mourning his death.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zakharova said she was “shocked” by reports of the death of Belarusian Foreign Minister Makei, and that an official message from the Russian Foreign Ministry is to be published soon. The office of Self-declared Republic of Abkhazia Foreign Minister Ardzinba told the press that it expressed its deepest condolences. There has not been a comment from Western diplomatic crops since writing this post.
Serbian National Assembly President Dacic has also expressed his condolences:
With deep sadness I received the news of @BelarusMFA head Vladimir Makei's passing.
I will remember him as a good diplomat, a friend, colleague and a partner who incesantly worked on strengthening our ties.
My sincere condolences to his family, friends & colleagues -DPM/FM Dacic pic.twitter.com/6jWjHBfuUj
— MFA Serbia ?? (@MFASerbia) November 26, 2022