Russian ambassador to Italy to replace Grushko as deputy foreign minister

Russian ambassador to Italy Alexei Meshkov is the most likely candidate for the vacancy of Deputy Foreign Minister, he will replace Alexander Grushko who will be leaving for Brussels as the Russian ambassador to NATO in the near future, Kommersant daily reported on Monday.

The news that Meshkov will become the new deputy to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was confirmed by several sources at the ministry.

The daily notes that Meshkov has been ambassador to Italy for nine years. He held the post of Deputy Foreign Minister before; he was deputy to Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in September 2011 through January 2004. Previously, he headed the ministry's foreign policy planning department.

The Federation Council and State Duma approved Grushko's new nomination in summer.

The Kommersant sources at the Foreign Ministry disagreed over when he would assume his new position - at the end of October or in November.

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