Magazine article Russian Life

Polishing Russia: Diplomatic Shuffles and a Call to Defend Russia's Image

Magazine article Russian Life

Polishing Russia: Diplomatic Shuffles and a Call to Defend Russia's Image

Article excerpt

In July, President Putin shuffled (and trimmed) the deck at the Foreign Ministry. The number of deputy foreign ministers was reduced from 12 to 7, the number of Foreign Ministry departments from 42 to 35, and the central staff of the ministry decreased from some 3,500 to 3,048 people. Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Loshchinin is now Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's only first deputy. Vyacheslav Trubnikov, who served as a first deputy minister, has been named ambassador to India. Eleonora Mitrofanova left her first-deputy ministerial position to head the Foreign Ministry's Agency for Relations With Russians Abroad. Andrei Denisov, who was a deputy minister, now heads Russia's Mission to the United Nations. Former deputy minister Sergei Razov became ambassador to China.

Meanwhile, at a meeting with 160 Russian ambassadors in July, various media reported that Putin urged diplomats to respond to attempts from abroad to "discredit" Russia. …

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