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Appointment of new Belarusian foreign minister raises hopes of Vilnius-Minsk dialogue

Aliaksandras Lukašenko
Šarūno Mažeikos/BFL nuotr. / Alexander Lukashenko
Šaltinis: BNS

Newly-appointed Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makey could possibly increase the political dialogue between Vilnius and Minsk, US-based strategic research center Stratfor says.

The intelligence organization reminds in an analytical article that Makey made an unexpected visit to the Lithuanian Presidential Office last year as the European Union was threatening with sanctions.

"The appointment of Makey - one of the most influential figures within Lukashenko's regime - could also affect Belarus' and Lithuania's relationship, which is more nuanced than Belarus' relationship with the other European countries," the publications reads.

"Makey is rumored to have a close working relationship with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė and surprised many when he paid an unofficial visit to Lithuania in January 2011, shortly after the initial rupture in relations between Belarus and the European Union," Stratfor says.

"His appointment as foreign minister could prompt a re-examination of the relationship between Minsk and Vilnius and possibly increase the political dialogue between the countries," the influential research center estimates.

Makey's unscheduled visit to the Lithuanian Presidential Office was reported in January 2011. According to media reports, he met with President Dalia Grybauskaitė. The president's representatives later said, however, Makey only met with Darius Semaška, the president's chief advisor on foreign policy.

Authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko sacked Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Martynov on Monday and replaced him with Makey, influential head of his administration.

Established in 1996, US-based international intelligence organization Stratfor is led by George Friedman. Stratfor is sometimes called "the shadow CIA" by the media.

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