Russian Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Alexander Grushko will be appointed as the country’s deputy foreign minister, local media reported Tuesday, citing sources in Russia’s Foreign Ministry.

Grushko will replace Alexey Meshkov, who will go on to serve as Russia’s Ambassador to France, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

Incumbent Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Orlov will reportedly retire after returning to Moscow.

Grushko has been working as Russia’s permanent envoy to NATO since 2012. Before that he served as Russian deputy foreign minister.

On Monday, the Izvestia newspaper reported, citing sources in the Foreign Ministry, that Moscow might downgrade the level of representation in NATO after Grushko leaves office. Such measures are connected with NATO’s reluctance to engage in a constructive dialogue with Moscow.

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