Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order appointing Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko as Russia's Ambassador to Serbia. The document was published on the Internet portal of legal information.
Botsan-Kharchenko is a MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) graduate, and he has worked in the structures of the European Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry in the 2000s and, in particular, was a representative of Russia in the International Negotiating Commission to Kosovo. From 2009 to 2014, Botsan-Kharchenko was Russia's Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and after that, he took the post of the Director of the fourth European Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Botsan-Harchenko has replaced Alexander Chepurin on a post. The official reason for the new appointment is unknown.
At the end of May, law enforcement agencies of Kosovo during a raid in the North of the country, that is mainly populated by Serbs, detained a Russian member of the UN mission Mikhail Krasnoshchekov. Local authorities said that the operation was conducted to combat organized crime and that the Russian interfered with its conduct.
Krasnoshchekov was taken to hospital with injuries, and he was released after the requirements of the Russian Embassy. The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, said that the diplomat was declared persona non grata on the territory of Kosovo. The UN argued that this is technically impossible.