MINSK, March 19. /TASS/. Russia’s former Ambassador to Belarus Dmitry Mezentsev has been appointed State Secretary of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.
"Chairman of the Supreme State Council of the Union State, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on March 19 signed Resolution No 1 on the Union State’s state secretary relieving Grigory Rapova of his duties as the State Secretary of the Union States and appointing Dmitry Mezentsev to the post," the press service of the Belarusian leader said on Friday.
Rapota was appointed State Secretary of the Union State on November 25, 2011 to replace Pavel Borodin.
The Kremlin website also announced Mezentsev’s appointment.
Mezentsev will ensure the deepening of brotherly relations between the two countries in the new office, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
"We are certain that, as a head of the Union structure, Dmitry Fyodorovich Mezentsev will ensure the continuity of operation of the State Secretary office and will continue the course towards the strengthening of brotherly Russian-Belarusian relations, which he efficiently facilitated as the head of the Russian diplomatic mission in Minsk. We wish him all kinds of success in this work in the interest of Russia and Belarus and for the benefit of the peoples of our countries," the diplomat said.
She also noted that Moscow is deeply grateful to Grigory Rapota, who held this office for almost 10 years, "for his significant contribution to development of the Russian-Belarusian state unification and strengthening of comprehensive and strengthening of comprehensive cooperation between the two countries."
"Thanks to his active position, implementation of significant union programs in various fields has become possible," Zakharova added.
Earlier, the Union State Supreme State Council appointed Mezentsev as the State Secretary. The same ruling dismissed Rapota from State Secretary duties due to expiration of his term in office.