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Lukashenko appoints ambassadors to China, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Pakistan, Kenya

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko appointed ambassadors to China, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Pakistan and Kenya, BelTA has learned.

Chairman of the State Customs Committee Yuri Senko will head the Belarusian diplomatic mission in China. Former Defense Minister and State Secretary of the Security Council Andrei Ravkov has been appointed Ambassador to Azerbaijan. Former Prosecutor General Aleksandr Konyuk will serve as Bealrus' Ambassador to Armenia.

Andrei Metelitsa, the head of the main legal department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been appointed Ambassador of Belarus to Pakistan. Pavel Vzyatkin, deputy director of the department of foreign economic affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will head the Belarusian embassy in Kenya. He will also represent the country's interests in Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. In addition, Pavel Vzyatkin willalso serve as the Permanent Representative of Belarus to the African Union, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the UN Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat).

“I will not be telling you about the countries you are going to. Your are professionals. I will just ask you: maybe someone does not want to work as ambassador?” the head of state asked. “You are highly-qualified specialists, especially you three [Andrei Ravkov, Aleksandr Konyuk and Yuri Senko]. I am ready to rethink my decision if you tell me that you would like to work in some other positions,” the president said.

Addressing Yuri Senko, the president said that China is a special country. “They always appreciate when highly-experienced specialists are sent to their country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Everyone confirmed their readiness to take up the new posts.

“I am sincere by saying this. If you see yourself in some other position, doing some other work now or in a year, in six months, just say it. This is not a retirement job for you. This does not mean we are sidelining people. You do not sidelines such people. This is why I want you to hear it, to understand it," the Belarusian leader stressed once again.

“Anytime, Andrei. Even though you're a general, but still. Any time,” the head of state said addressing Andrei Ravkov. “Of course, I had my concerns when appointing you. The former defense minister is appointed ambassador to Azerbaijan as the war just ended there. They would start thinking why Lukashenko is sending the general there, what kind of position this will be... [the matter is about possible reaction from the outside to this personnel decision].”

In this regard, the president stressed that there is no behind-the-scenes play in these appointments. "Belarus and Azerbaijan maintain very good, close relations. You know that. We must maintain good relations with Azerbaijan," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

At that he stressed that Belarus have excellent relations with Armenia too.

“Keep maintaining the relations at this level. These are the two countries that should live peacefully in the future. We have maintained very good relations both with Yerevan and Baku and will continue to do so. We sympathize with what happened there. People died. Thank God that the war is over,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The head of state was assured that the candidates for ambassadors to Pakistan and a number of African countries had been carefully selected. Everyone has the necessary experience, performing discipline and attitude to work. Moreover, these are very promising countries in terms of further cooperation.

Addressing the newly-appointed ambassadors, Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that the priority goal is to make progress in trade, to increase exports: “The main thing is export. Politics is politics. It is clear that there will be a lot of it in Azerbaijan, Armenia, and also in China. We need to make progress in trade and economic relations with these countries in the first place.”