Belarus foreign minister Vladimir Makei. AP
The Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei passed away at 64, the country’s foreign ministry said on Saturday.
The Ministry said on its official Facebook account, “Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, has suddenly passed away today.” They did not provide more details about the circumstances surrounding the minister’s death.
Born in 1958 in the Belarusian region of Grodno, Makei had been in the post since August 2012, as per his official bio on the foreign ministry’s website. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Makei, as per a statement published on the presidential website.
According to Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti, he was slated to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it was “deeply shocked” by the news of his sudden demise. It said, “As head of the Foreign Ministry, he made a great contribution to the further strengthening of Russian-Belarusian relations.”
“Being an established professional and a sincere patriot of his country, he firmly and effectively defended the interests of the Republic of Belarus on international platforms,” the ministry continued, adding that “this is a heavy, irreparable loss.”