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Belarus minister who maintained ties with the West ‘WAS killed by Kremlin assassins’, reports claim

Belarus’ foreign minister Vladimir Makei was poisoned in a Kremlin sting operation, extraordinary new reports have claimed.

The veteran diplomat and former GRU spy died suddenly yesterday amid claims he was in secret contact with the West concerning the war in Ukraine and preventing Belarus from being incorporated into Russia by Vladimir Putin.

A video shows Makei, 64, looking healthy on a Belarus military cargo plane last week shortly before he died. He wasn’t known to suffer from any chronic illness.

Some reports say he had an apparent heart attack and that his death has ‘shaken’ Alexander Lukashenko who now fears for his own safety.

Belarus’ longstanding foreign minister Vladimir Makei died suddenly, Belarusian state media reported yesterday

Vladimir Putin (R) is said to want to take control of Belarus' military and eliminating Makei would help to sever relations between Belarusian leader Lukashenko (L) and Western powers (Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Belarus' counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi on September 26, 2022)

Vladimir Putin (R) is said to want to take control of Belarus’ military and eliminating Makei would help to sever relations between Belarusian leader Lukashenko (L) and Western powers (Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Belarus’ counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi on September 26, 2022)

Makei was seen boarding a flight on a Belarusian military plane just days ago in seemingly good health

Makei was seen boarding a flight on a Belarusian military plane just days ago in seemingly good health

Leonid Nevzlin, an oligarch and opposition critic of Putin, claimed there was likely foul play involved in Makei's death

Leonid Nevzlin, an oligarch and opposition critic of Putin, claimed there was likely foul play involved in Makei’s death

The tyrant has now even replaced his cooks and servants, fearing assassination by Moscow, it is claimed.

Exiled Putin foe and businessman Leonid Nevzlin alleged that Makei ‘died as a result of poisoning developed in an FSB special laboratory’.

He cited sources ‘close to the Russian special services’, claiming: ‘The clinical picture in such cases corresponds to death from stroke or heart failure.’

Makei was due this week to attend an OSCE security meeting in Poland to meet key Western politicians and officials – a session from which Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was banned.

Nevzlin claimed that the poisoning theory ‘is supported by the fact that the 64-year-old official had no health problems, was leading an active lifestyle and was making plans.

‘When he suddenly got a heart condition, he did not go to doctors as he had not experienced such problems before and did not give any importance to the pain,’ Nevzlin said.

He quoted a Russian toxicologist saying: ‘It is very easy to poison a man so that everyone thinks he has died of natural causes.

‘It is enough to disrupt the balance of enzymes in his body – the substances that ensure all processes without exception, from fluttering eyelashes to breathing.’

Nevzlin added: ‘The death of Makei, essentially the second [most important] man in the state, has caused panic in Belarusian nomenklatura circles.

‘But dictator Lukashenko is the most shaken. He has ordered the replacement of his cooks, servants and guards.

‘Lukashenko’s children have been given extra security. The dictator does not trust anyone.’

Nevzlin concluded that Lukashenko fears his supposed ally Putin is arranging ‘a magnificent funeral’ for him.

Makei’s alleged elimination severed Belarus’ remaining relationships with Western powers, according to Telegram channel General SVR.

It was ‘planned, prepared and implemented on the personal initiative of the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin,’ the dissident Russian channel alleged.

‘No-one really hides the fact that this is murder from Lukashenko.

‘The action was demonstrative and aimed at disrupting Lukashenko’s separate negotiations with the West and China.’

Makei ‘assured his [Western] counterparts, and not without success, that Lukashenko was actually held hostage by Putin and forced to commit ”unpopular” acts under pressure from the Russian president and in order to preserve the sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus.’

Russian opposition politician and human rights activist, Lev Shlosberg, 59, added: ‘It is very difficult, almost impossible, to believe in the natural nature of the causes of the death of Vladimir Makei.’

Vera Polyakova-Makei (L) has not commented on the death of her husband (R)

Vera Polyakova-Makei (L) has not commented on the death of her husband (R)

Vladimir Makei is pictured with his wife Vera Polyakova-Makei

Vladimir Makei is pictured with his wife Vera Polyakova-Makei

Russian opposition politician and human rights activist, Lev Shlosberg, claimed Makei's death likely came as the result of a targeted operation. 'It is very difficult, almost impossible, to believe in the natural nature of the causes of the death of Vladimir Makei,' he said

Russian opposition politician and human rights activist, Lev Shlosberg, claimed Makei’s death likely came as the result of a targeted operation. ‘It is very difficult, almost impossible, to believe in the natural nature of the causes of the death of Vladimir Makei,’ he said

The foreign minister’s widow Vera Polyakova-Makei, 44, an actress and head of Minsk Youth Theatre, has not commented on her husband’s death.

Lukashenko issued only a short statement offering condolences to his family and friends.

But Belarusian political scientist Aleksey Dzermant denied that Makei was assassinated.

‘There are no facts that would give reason to say so. Moreover, he had a sufficient degree of protection and security.

‘The causes of his death are natural,’ Dzermant said.

Pro-Kremlin analyst Sergey Markov also claimed ‘all the cooks and service personnel have been replaced’ in Lukashenko’s residence.

‘Sometimes it needs to be done. A good reason to do it now,’ he said.

He added: ‘The Belarusian authorities have rejected versions of the poisoning of Foreign Minister Makei.

‘They said that he started having heart problems. But the sudden death of a rather young, 64-year-old, prominent politician created suspicions of murder.’

Makei had held his post since 2012 and wasn’t known to suffer from any chronic illness.

He was seen in seemingly good health at a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) in Yerevan just days ago. 

His shock death came just one day prior to a scheduled meeting on Monday with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, amid Russian suspicions over his back channel liaising with Western interlocutors.

On Tuesday, Makei was set to travel to the Polish city of Lodz, where he was invited to attend a Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) council meeting with Western officials. 

His invitation came as a surprise given Belarus’ complicity in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – Lavrov was not invited.

Makei, 64 (L), had held his post since 2012 and wasn't known to suffer from any chronic illness. He was due to meet Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov (R) on Monday

Makei, 64 (L), had held his post since 2012 and wasn’t known to suffer from any chronic illness. He was due to meet Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov (R) on Monday

Makei is pictured alongside Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

Makei is pictured alongside Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Vladimir Makei is pictured with former British PM Boris Johnson

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Vladimir Makei is pictured with former British PM Boris Johnson

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 and had criticised Russia.

However, he abruptly changed his stance after the protests were brutally quelled, saying they were inspired by agents of the West.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February, Makei doubled down on the pro-Kremlin stance, claiming the West had provoked the war and that the Ukrainian authorities should agree to the Russian terms of peace.

A few days before the start of the war, Makei promised that there would be no attack on Ukraine from the territory of Belarus. A few days later, Russian troops proved that he was wrong.

A statement given by Makei to the United Nations Security Council in September encapsulated the strange position occupied by Belarus in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

‘Belarus is referred to as an ”accomplice of the aggressor” or even a party to the conflict. We have said and continue to say: Belarus has never advocated the war. But we are not traitors either,’ he said in a reference to Belarus’ close alliance with Russia.

‘We have allied commitments, and we are strictly following and will follow the spirit and letter of international treaties to which we are party.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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