The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan has extended condolences over death of Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei.     

“With a feeling of deep sadness, we received the news of the untimely death of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.  Vladimir Makei was an outstanding diplomat; he made a tangible contribution to the expansion of the bilateral cooperation between Belarus and Tajikistan.  We express our sincere condolences to family and friends of Vladimir Makei due to bereavement,” says a statement released by the Tajik MFA.

The Belarusian Foreign Minister wrote on Facebook on Saturday that Vladimir Makei “died suddenly today.”  It also posted a picture of Makei on Twitter, writing in English that he “has passed away.”

Belarusian media reports say the 64-year-old Vladimir Makei died of a heart attack. 

“Vladimir Makei was at home in Drozdy when he had a heart attack,” Nasha Niva writes. 

Makei attended a conference of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Yerevan earlier last week and was due to meet Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday.

Western media reports say that 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.  However, he changed his stance after the start of the protests, saying they were inspired by agents of the West.

Makei had served as Foreign Minister of Belarus since 2021.  Previously, he had served as an assistant and later as chief of staff to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.  Makei was married and had three children.