MINSK, 25 June (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko appointed Belarus' ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Switzerland and Venezuela on 25 June, BelTA has learned.
The Belarusian diplomatic mission in Switzerland will be led by Aleksandr Ganevich, the deputy head of the main directorate – head of the analysis, planning, visa and tariff policy department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The position was was vacant.
Now the foreign ministries of the two countries have been actively developing relations, preparing a return visit of a delegation of the Swiss parliament to Belarus. “The head of state has set a task to develop trade and economic relations. In the last three years our trade has been steadily growing. Last year it reached $258 million. Both import and also export have been gaining momentum,” the diplomat told the media.
As it has been reported, the Swiss Embassy officially opened in Minsk in February this year to replace the office of Switzerland's embassy. The ceremony was attended by Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland. “The transformation of the embassy's office into a full-fledged embassy is not just a technicality. This step is of big symbolic meaning. The decision demonstrates Switzerland's interest in developing relations with Belarus and hope that Belarus will continue the path of democratization and observance of human rights. Although, we understand that this road is not easy and quite long,” Ignazio Cassis said at the ceremony.
Andrei Molchan, former director of the tourism department at the Sport and Tourism Ministry, has been appointed Ambassador of Belarus to Venezuela. Ambassador Oleg Paferov was relieved of this diplomatic post due to the need for rotation.
The new ambassador to Venezuela was tasked with working out the most effective forms of cooperation with that country. “According to the head of state, Venezuela remains a close, strategic partner of Belarus. The Belarusian leader instructed to carefully analyze the situation there and to develop the most effective and mutually beneficial forms, algorithms of work in the current difficult conditions. This is what we are going to do,” Andrei Molchan told reporters after the meeting with the president.
The diplomat noted that at the time when the decision to access the Latin American market was made, the advantages of cooperation with Venezuela were more than enough. Over the past 12 years, the countries have developed a solid base of relations in energy, industry, agriculture and humanitarian affairs. “However, the relations have slowed down. Unfortunately, the developments in terms of geopolitics and economy have put Venezuela in a very difficult position. Venezuela has been caught in a rather serious and deep crisis," the ambassador said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also gave his consent to appoint Ilya Laput Consul General of Belarus in Latvia's Daugavpils. Prior to that, the diplomat headed the information security and technology department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to Ilya Laput, Latvia is a prime example of how it is possible to be a member of the European Union and be friends with Belarus. “We have very close relations in all areas: economy, politics and culture. All this is based on close ties between people. This is the only country with which we have an agreement on small-scale border traffic,” the diplomat said.