Putin transfers ambassador to Argentina who informed Mexican authorities about cocaine to Mexico
Koronelli, who informed the Argentine authorities about the discovery of cocaine in the back room of the embassy school, will be replaced by a deputy head of one of the departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dmitry Feoktistov.
President Vladimir Putin relieved Viktor Koronelli from the duties of Russia's ambassador to Argentina. The presidential decree is published on the official portal of legal information. By another decree, Koronelli was appointed an ambassador to Mexico.
Dmitry Feoktistov was appointed the new ambassador. Before his appointment as ambassador to Argentina, he was deputy head of the department for new challenges and threats, which is part of the central office of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Koronelli served as ambassador to Argentina since 2011. In February 2018, a scandal erupted around the Russian embassy in this country: Russian law enforcement agencies and Argentina reported about exposing a cocaine supply scheme via the embassy’s facilities. The investigation has lasted for more than a year. As Koronelli said, the drugs were hidden in the school grounds at the embassy, but they were discovered by the first attendant of the Russian diplomatic mission. Argentine media wrote that drugs were planned to be transported by a diplomatic post but the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, denied this.
Argentine security minister Patricia Bullrich said that it was Koronelli who informed the Argentine authorities informed about the found drugs.
In early March, Zakharova noted that the Ministry is discussing the issue of changing the ambassador to Argentina. According to her, the average serving time for ambassadors in another country is about four to five years and Koronelli has been working in this position for longer.
Koronelli then said that he “cannot always sit” in Argentina. “When the time comes, a decree will be issued − and I will receive information about my new appointment,” he commented.