London: Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei was poisoned in a Kremlin sting operation, extraordinary new reports have claimed, according to a media report.
The veteran diplomat and former spy died suddenly on Sunday amid claims that he was in secret contact with the West concerning the war in Ukraine and preventing Belarus from being incorporated into Russia by Vladimir Putin, Daily Mail reported.
A video shows Makei, 64, looking healthy on a Belarus military cargo plane last week shortly before he died. He wasn’t known to suffer from any chronic illness.
Some reports say he had a heart attack and that his death has ‘shaken’ president Alexander Lukashenko, who now fears for his own safety, Daily Mail reported.
Lukashenko has even replaced his cooks and servants, fearing assassination by Moscow, it is claimed.
Exiled Putin foe and businessman Leonid Nevzlin alleged that Makei “died as a result of poisoning developed in an FSB special laboratory”, Daily Mail reported.
He cited sources “close to the Russian special services”, claiming: “The clinical picture in such cases corresponds to death from stroke or heart failure.”
Makei was this week due to attend an Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) meeting in Poland to meet key Western politicians and officials – a session from which Russian Foreign Finister Sergei Lavrov has been banned.
Nevzlin claimed that the poisoning theory is supported by the fact that the 64-year-old official had no health problems, was leading an active lifestyle and was making plans.
“When he suddenly got a heart condition, he did not go to doctors as he had not experienced such problems before and did not give any importance to the pain,” Nevzlin said.