Valeri Kuzmin – appointed Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Bucharest

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Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Valeri Kuzmin, former head of the Russian diplomatic mission in Republic of Moldova, as Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Romania, by presidential decree, TASS reported, quoting the official portal for legal information.

By another decree, President Putin released from office Oleg Malghinov, who served until now as Russia’s ambassador in Romania.

Valeri Kuzmin, a career diplomat, graduated the Moscow Institute of International Relations MGIMO and works with the Foreign Ministry of Russia since 1975. Between 2007 and 2012, Kuzmin served as Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia to Republic of Moldova. The Russian diplomat speaks fluent English, French and Arabic.

Valeri Kuzmin’s appointment comes amid tense background determined by the activation of the anti-missile base at Deveselu and by the tensioned relations between Russia and NATO and the EU as a result of Moscow’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.

The end of Valeri Kuzmin’s mandate in R. of Moldova was marked by an incident, Moldovan media says.  In January 2012, dozens of demonstrators picketed the Russian Embassy in Chisinau demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces from Transdnestria, calling them ‘occupying force’ and requested the expulsion of Ambassador Valeri Kuzmin.

Discontent had been triggered by a statement made by the Russian diplomat, who had stated that the young Moldovan Vadim Pisari – shot dead by a soldier in the Russian security zone in Transdnestria after refusing to stop the car he was driving – had been under influence. Forensic tests refuted the statements of Ambassador Kuzmin, Unimedia informs.

The Russian ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry when the Republic of Moldova, the Chisinau authorities insisting on changing the peacekeeping format in Transdnestria and on the replacement of Russian troops by a civilian mission. Kuzmin said then that it is too early to talk about a change in the peacekeeping format because the Transdnestrian settlement process is too complicated and lengthy.

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