LISBON, May 9 (Xinhua) -- The Portuguese government expressed on Wednesday "deep regret" over the death of the Russian ambassador in Lisbon on Tuesday, describing him as "an exemplary diplomat" who contributed to the deepening of relations between Portugal and Russia.
"It was with deep regret that the Portuguese government took note of the tragic death of the Russian Federation's ambassador to Portugal, Oleg Belous," said a statement released by Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva also sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Serguei Lavrov to express the condolence over the ambassador's death.
The Foreign Ministry said in the statement that Oleg Belous was an "exemplary diplomat" who "put with great mastery his long experience and unusual professional and personal qualities in the service of strengthening the relationship between Portugal and Russia."
"Its diplomatic action has contributed in a very significant way to deepening cooperation and strengthening the ties of friendship between our two countries," said the statement.
Russian ambassador to Lisbon Oleg Belous died "suddenly" on Tuesday at the age of 66, according to the announcement of the Russian embassy in Portugal.
Oleg Belous had been working at the Russian embassy in Portugal since 2013.