Ukraine-Russia relations: Putin's new rep to Ukraine is ex-Education Minister, criticized for alleged corruption

13:54 Aug. 20, 2016

Putin's new rep to Ukraine is ex-Education Minister, criticized for alleged corruption

Russia's former Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov (GettyImages Photo)

Dmitry Livanov to become Putin's special rep for Trade and Economic relations with Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed former Education Minister Dmitry Livanov as Presidential special representative for Trade and Economic relations with Ukraine. The relevant document is published on the official website of the Kremlin. 

The move occurred amid the rift in diplomatic ties between Kyiv and Moscow, caused by Russia's annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas. 

Read also: Putin offering Obama deal on Ukraine - Times

Earlier Kyiv refused to approve the candidacy for Russian Ambassador to Ukraine, proposed by the Kremlin. Moscow had wanted former FSB officer Mikhail Babich to become the head of Russia's embassy in Ukraine. 

After Kyiv dismissed the proposition, Putin decided to choose his new representative. 

'Despite the reluctance of the current government in Kiev to have full-fledged diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, we nevertheless will leave them opportunities to develop and maintain contacts. For this reason, a decision was made to appoint former Education Minister Dmitry Livanov Special Presidential Representative for Trade and Economic Relations with Ukraine', Putin stated earlier. 

Read also: Medvedev leaves all options open as to diplomatic break-off with Ukraine

Livanov was the Education Minister of Russia from 2012 till 2016. During his time in the office, Livanov was repeatedly criticized by Russian lawmaker from the ruling party United Russia Vladimir Burmatov. 

'I think the Minister needs to explain what is going on in his Ministry and why instead of fighting corruption, we are seeing the support of it', Burmatov said in January 2016. 

Livanov was dismissed from his position as the Education Minister on August 19, 2016. 

 

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