Approaching Western Countries, Putin’s Backlash…Belarusian Foreign Minister “Shuddering End”
More than nine months after the invasion of Ukraine began, Russia is becoming increasingly isolated. Even its allies are voicing their opposition.
This was the case at a CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) summit meeting of the six former Soviet republics in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, on November 23. Kazakhstan President Tokayev said, “The time has come to seek peace in Ukraine. We must not miss the chance to achieve a ceasefire”. Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan noted that “the CSTO is dysfunctional” and blatantly distanced himself from Russian President Putin in a photo op.
He said, “President Putin stressed, ‘We are united,’ but it is clear that his centripetal force is declining.” Even Belarus, which has consistently supported Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, is showing a subtle change in attitude: at the CSTO meeting on March 23, President Lukashenko announced, “It is time to end the bloodshed. The current situation, in which Russia continues to struggle and there is no clear path to an end to the war, is beginning to ring alarm bells,” said a reporter from the international section of a national newspaper.
Secret Peace Plan with the Pope?
In Belarus, there is one person who is said to have the most influence over President Lukashenko.
It is Mr. Macay, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The fact that he has held the position of foreign minister for more than 10 years is unusual under the Lukashenko administration, which frequently replaces cabinet ministers. This is a testament to the high level of trust he has earned.
He has been stationed in Paris and has strong ties to Europe and the United States. Unusually for a Belarusian dignitary, he was critical of the invasion of Ukraine and worked to improve relations with Western countries. It is rumored that he had been in contact with the Pope behind the scenes and was trying to put together a top-secret peace plan.
Mr. Makey is energetic. He participated in the CSTO meeting at the beginning of this report, and was scheduled to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on November 28. However, …….
Two days before the meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov, he died suddenly on November 26 at the age of 64. He was in perfect health until just before the meeting, and there were no signs of his death at all. The Belarusian newspaper “Nasha Nyiwa” said that although he had suffered a heart attack at his home in the suburbs of the capital Minsk, he did not take it seriously and did not call a doctor, which proved fatal.
Mr. Macay’s proximity to hostile Western countries would have been unforgivable to President Putin. Even more so when his influence over the leader of his allies, President Lukashenko, is so strong. The sudden death of the activist politician has sparked speculation.
The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, published the views of Nevzlin, a Russian businessman who defected to Israel. According to Nevzlin, Mr. Makei was killed by a poison developed by the Russian Federal Security Service that ‘made everyone feel that he had died of natural causes. He noted that it is also suspicious that President Lukashenko replaced all cooks, servants, and security guards after Mr. Makei’s death.
In a report on Makey’s death, Silivman, a research fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a global think tank, wrote: “The Lukashenko administration was a very effective one. His sudden death at the age of 64, given his reputation as the most Western-minded man in the Lukashenko administration, has inevitably given rise to all sorts of conspiracy theories.
In Russia, there has been a string of suspicious deaths of wealthy people who opposed the invasion of Ukraine. Is President Putin’s intention at work in Mr. Macay’s sudden death as well?