Vladimir Makei, who had held his post since 2012, was due to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov next week.

Makei had attended a conference of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) — a military alliance of several post soviet states — in Yerevan earlier this week.
Makei had attended a conference of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) — a military alliance of several post soviet states — in Yerevan earlier this week. (Reuters Archive)

Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei has died at the age of 64.

"Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei has passed away suddenly," state news agency Belta reported, citing Foreign Ministry spokesman Anatoly Glaz, on Saturday. 

The cause of Makei's death was not reported.

He had attended a conference of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) — a military alliance of several post-Soviet states — in Yerevan earlier this week and was due to meet Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Monday.

Before the presidential elections and mass anti-government protests in Belarus in 2020, Makei had been one of the initiators of efforts to improve Belarus' relations with the West.

However, he abruptly changed his stance after the start of the protests, claiming they were inspired by agents of the West.

READ MORE: FM Makei: Foreign sanctions and interference on Belarus would harm all

Condolences

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu extended his condolences to Makei’s family and the people of Belarus.

"Deeply saddened by the news of Makei's passing away. He was a good man and a good friend,” Cavusoglu said on Twitter. “May his soul rest in peace.”

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted on her Telegram channel that the ministry was "shocked by the reports" of Makei's death and that official condolences "will be published soon."

Source: Reuters