Since 2000, Archbishop Mennini had been apostolic nuncio in Bulgaria.
Born in Rome in 1947, Archbishop Mennini is replacing Archbishop Giorgio Zur, who was appointed nuncio in Vienna, Austria, on Oct. 8.
Archbishop Mennini is not an apostolic nuncio in Russia, but simply a "representative," as Rome and Moscow do not enjoy full diplomatic relations.
He will have to contend with the difficulties that have arisen following the federal authorities' expulsion of Catholic Bishop Jerzy Mazur of the Siberian diocese of St. Joseph of Irkutsk, and five priests.
John Paul II also appointed Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski apostolic nuncio in Uzbekistan, the Vatican Press Office also announced. Born in the Krakow Archdiocese in 1948, he is also apostolic nuncio in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.