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MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Monday it’s Ukraine's sovereign right to refuse agrement to the appointment of Mikhail Babich as Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine. He added that he did not know if there were any other possible candidates for the post.
"It is the sovereign right of one side - to propose the candidature of the ambassador, and it is the sovereign right of the other side - not to agree to the ambassador’s candidacy," Peskov said, adding that according to the diplomatic protocol procedure, "other proposals are also possible."
According to him, the issue of getting an agrement from Kiev by the Russian side for appointing Babich ambassador "is at the stage of implementing the necessary diplomatic procedures." "I don’t know about other candidates," he added.
Peskov also said that the presidential administration had not announced Babich’s nomination for this post. "The candidature had not been made public by the Kremlin", he said, adding that this name was announced by journalists who referred to their source. "Our side has neither denied nor confirmed this", said the Kremlin spokesman.
Last week, the relevant committee of the State Duma lower house of parliament approved the candidacy of Mikhail Babich for the post of Russian ambassador to Ukraine.
Mikhail Babich, the newly appointed Russian ambassador to Ukraine, will be an efficient diplomat and will do a lot to improve relations between the two countries, Leonid Slutsky, the head of the Russian State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Compatriots residing abroad, said then. "Babich is a very strong candidate…There is no doubt he will be the effective head of our embassy in Ukraine and will do a lot to start improving the extremely complicated relations between the two countries inch by inch," Slutsky told journalists last Friday.
Slutsky called for ignoring the candidate’s criticism coming from the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine. "As for the voices of marginal anti-Russian political parties at the Verkhovna Rada, they are going to dislike any candidate offered by Moscow. This is how they create their own PR among voters and their electorate," the Russian lawmaker said. "It is extremely hard to work in Ukraine these days. We are going to support our ambassador," Slutsky said.
The Russian State Duma Committee for Foreign Affairs on Friday approved the candidacy of Mikhail Babich to the post of Russia’s new ambassador to Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin relieved Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov of his duties a day earlier. Kremlin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists after the decision was made public that Moscow had asked Kiev for preliminary consent to Mikhail Babich’s appointment as Russia’s new ambassador to Ukraine. Babich used to be the Russian president’s envoy to the Volga Federal District prior to his new appointment.