Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev has appointed former Deputy Prime Minister Imanghali Tasmaghambetov as the country's ambassador to Russia.
The presidential website announced the appointment on February 16. (http://www.akorda.kz/kz/legal_acts/decrees/memleket-basshysynyn-zharlygymen-imangali-nurgaliuly-tasmagambetov-kazakstan-respublikasynyn-resei-federaciyasyndagy-totenshe-zhane-okilett)
Nazarbaev removed the 60-year-old Tasmaghambetov from the post of deputy prime minister on February 3.
Tasmaghambetov had once been considered as a possible presidential successor to 76-year-old Nazarbaev, who has been running the Central Asian republic since 1989 when it was still a Soviet republic.
However, appointments of influential politicians to ambassador posts in foreign countries is considered as a kind of political exile by many political observers in Kazakhstan.
In the past, Tasmaghambetov had also served as Kazakhstan's defense minister, education and culture minister, chief of the presidential administration, the mayor of both Almaty and Astana, and governor of the oil-rich region of Atyrau.