The leadership of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Department of Middle East and North Africa and the Council of veterans of the Russian foreign Ministry on Monday reported the death of Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in retirement Basil Kolotusha — one of the most famous diplomats and middle East experts. Vasily Kolotusha died July 11 at 80-m to year of life. He worked in the United Arab Republic, Iraq, Lebanon, and Morocco. In the latter two countries he was Ambassador In Lebanon — in the years 1986-1990, and in Morocco from 1992 to 1999. Between these two trips he headed the Middle East and North Africa of the MFA of the USSR and Russia.”My generation of Arabists of the middle East experts fate is unenviable. The stages of our career to Sana’a and Khartoum, Cairo, Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad, Tripoli, Algeria… whatever the name of the capital, then immediately an Association with war, coups, bombings, unhealthy climate, difficult and allowminimize local partners contacts. Often from our labour a piece of bread, smelled like gunpowder and TNT”…In 1986 Vasily Kolotusha became the youngest Ambassador in the Soviet Union, 45 years as head of the diplomatic mission in Lebanon. It’s rare today, and even more was unusual in Soviet times. And still about Vasily Kolotusha remember as rushivshih all the stereotypes. In the midst of the civil war in Lebanon, he did not sit behind the walls of the Embassy and personally went to meet with local politicians, whatever political camp they belong to.In his book, he recalled how the Lebanese newspaper drew caricatures of him, and the Shiite movement Hezbollah and Syrian intelligence services, who controlled the neighbouring country, made it to their blacklists.Vasily Kolotusha managed to maneuver between the different interest groups. “His not throw” — this popular slogan was like invented specially for him. A rare case in the history of diplomacy, when the Ambassador in the procession taken out from Beirut, a refuge from the Syrian intelligence, the man who the year before helped free Soviet diplomats taken hostage by Hezbollah.”Kommersant” talked to colleagues of the deceased.Photo: Dmitry Azarov, Kommersantdaily of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Mikhail Bogdanov:— the Death of Vasily Ivanovich Kolotusha is a huge loss for his friends and colleagues. Most recently, on June 26, I called him to wish happy birthday. He was 79 years old. Had plans to celebrate next year’s anniversary, he was full of energy. His death came as a great surprise for all of us.Vasily Ivanovich was a profound scholar of the East, one of the best translators. In particular, he brought the presidents of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat, worked with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.I would like to note his contribution to our middle East policy the post of head of Department Middle East and North Africa, which he led in 1990.For two years, he has worked with four Ministers for foreign Affairs, Eduard Shevardnadze, Alexander Immortal, Boris Pankin and Andrei Kozyrev. It was a difficult period for our country when changing socio-political formation, priorities have changed, but the wisdom and professionalism of Vasily Ivanovich Kolotusha helped to keep the role of our country in the middle East in difficult times.He led all the work on the preparation of the first Arab-Israeli peace conference in Madrid. During this period I had the opportunity to work with him in the team and witness this historic event when the Soviet Union and the United States became co-sponsors of the middle East settlement.Despite the fact that Vasily Kolotusha since the days of the Lebanese mission was close to the Palestinian leadership, including Yasser Arafat, that’s when it began to recover and actively develop the Soviet Union’s relations with Israel, was organized the first visit of the head of our foreign Ministry in this country.During a recent trip to Morocco he was also respected by the leadership of the country, the late king Hassan II. Trusted him, seen as he knows and understands the Arab world.After the resignation Vasily Kolotusha became interested in the history of the Second world war. In 2018 he wrote the book “the Camp of containing the unknown…a Place of burial — Wlodomierz…” on the history of the Soviet pow camp in the town of Volodymyr-Volyns’kyi in Ukraine.It was a very creative person with a broad Outlook. We all will miss him.Photo: Embassy of Russia in Boundsonelement Director of the Africa Department of the foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation Oleg Ozerov:— Vasily Ivanovich — my first boss. His passing is sad news for everyone who worked in the middle East. In the early 1980’s, he headed the division of Syria and Lebanon, the foreign Ministry, where I went to work after graduation and before my first business trip to Syria. He struck me from the first days of work of the highest professionalism. On any question in person or on the phone — he answered dryly, without emotion, but always with abundance of dates, facts and figures, which gave it a cool expert who has a lot to learn.Vasily Ivanovich played an important role in the development of our country’s relations with the Palestine liberation Organization (PLO) and its leadership during his trip to Lebanon in the first half of the 1970s, where he, along with other diplomats have built an extensive relationship with the various Palestinian organizations — from the left to those who were called the bourgeois-nationalist. It was his efforts failed to deploy many of these organisations from terrorist methods of struggle for the rights of pales��Inskaya people to the full policy. This ultimately allowed in 1974 to seek the UN recognition of the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.In addition to diplomacy Vasily Ivanovich was passionate about numismatics and is widely known in these circles as a brilliant expert.After the completion of his diplomatic career, he wrote two interesting books about his work — “How much is the life of the Ambassador of TNT? Beirut sketches” and “Tales of the old interpreter,” which should be out in the light. I am sure that a good memory of this brilliant diplomat-lignevente and decent man will long remain in our hearts.Photo: Ivan Vodopyanov, Kommersanta-President of the Russian Council on international Affairs, Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Alexander Aksenenok:— With severe pain, found out that he passed away friend and colleague in the diplomatic shop. Basil belonged to the cohort of dedicated Arabists. I have warm memories of our joint kochanie over the Arab language at MGIMO, work at the foreign Ministry in hard times of crisis and meeting at the middle Eastern crossroads.Photo: Nina zotina / RIA Novostirussian and Plenipotentiary Ambassador Pyotr Stegny:— Vasily Ivanovich was given the gift to attract people and was devoted to his work, literally burned work. He was one of those stones on which to build our middle East policy. Still many of our current successes associated with the work of that generation of diplomats.His departure ended an era in Arabic studies and middle Eastern diplomacy. He was not only a brilliant diplomat, but also a brilliant interpreter. We can say a translator is a pioneer. Nobody taught us dialects of the Arabic language, and to learn the subtleties of interpretation had to literally on the spot. He came to the bottom, bringing the translation to perfection. And his loved his interlocutors-the Arabs. Especially the Lebanese.One of foreign politicians who have expressed their condolences in connection with the death of Basil Kolotusha, was a former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad al-Hariri.Marianna Belenkaya