Thursday, February 6, 2014

Russian General Staff’s Deputy Chief Resigns – Report (05.02.2014)

MOSCOW, February 5 (RIA Novosti) – A senior Russian military official who oversaw international cooperation resigned because of a conflict with the new chief of the General Staff, the Kommersant newspaper said Wednesday. The resignation of General Alexander Postnikov, 57, was tendered in late 2013 and recently approved by President Vladimir Putin, the daily said, citing Kremlin sources.

Alexander Postnikov
No official confirmation was available as of Wednesday morning. As the General Staff’s deputy chief, Postnikov handled the Russian military command’s interactions with NATO, including regarding the controversial US missile defense shield, the report said. He also was involved in transferring Syrian chemical weapons to international control. Postnikov was on the Russian delegation at talks on the issue between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart, John Kerry, in Geneva last October.

Postnikov quit because of tensions with the incumbent chief of General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, at the job since late 2012, the report said. Postnikov was a protégé of Gerasimov’s predecessor, Nikolai Makarov, sacked by Putin along with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov in a reshuffle of military leadership that followed a large-scale corruption scandal. An aide of Postnikov was last year implicated in the scandal, which involved the allegedly unlawful sale of military property. Serdyukov is currently battling graft allegations, but unlike the minister, Postnikov has never been personally linked to any corruption schemes.

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