Russia withdraws ambassador to Belarus less than a year after his appointment

Russian Federation Ambassador to Belarus Mikhail Babich was recalled from his post, reported the Russian edition of Kommersant with reference to several high-ranking sources.

“This has been discussed since last week,” said one of the publication’s sources.

A few hours after the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed the decree it was published on the Kremlin website. The publication says that Babich has been relieved of his duties as the Ambassador and Russia's special presidential envoy for the development of trade and economic cooperation with Belarus.

Babich stayed in this position for less than a year. He was appointed the head of the diplomatic mission in Minsk on August 24, 2018. Previously, he served as the plenipotentiary representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Volga Federal District.

Babich, who is not a career diplomat, was considered a political appointee. The period of his work in Minsk coincided with the activation of the Moscow aims to achieve deeper integration with Belarus.

Dmitry Mezentsev became the new Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Minsk.

For the past three years, he has been a member of the Federation Council, which is the highest chamber of the Russian parliament, and before that, he was secretary general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

In the early 1990s, Mezentsev worked with Putin at the St. Petersburg Mayor’s Office and later headed the Center for Strategic Research, which ensured Putin’s election campaign.

In 2009-2012 he was the governor of the Irkutsk region.

  Russia, Belarus, Babich, Kremlin