Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia
Hold on, a nuclear war?
Out of context
'Go ask Joe Biden'
The diplomat
Childhood
Silver medal student
Lavrov, the composer
Diplomatic post in Sri Lanka
Back to Moscow
A New York minute
At the United Nations
Da, Minister!
Cabinet reshuffle
The Middle East Quartet
Against chemical weapons
Representing Russia around the world
Discussions over Syria
The Clinton-Lavrov Connection
Former chain-smoker
The Lavrov family
Happy grandpa
Highly regarded
Russia's emissary to the world
His biggest conundrum yet
Will history absolve him?
Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia

One of the key figures of Russian politics is Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Lavrov is none other than Putin's voice around the globe. Who is he? Why is he relevant to Putin's inner circle? Is it true that he threatened a nuclear war to the West?

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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Hold on, a nuclear war?

The entire world was worried after the minister brought up nuclear war while talking about “special military operations” in Ukraine. Some news outlets used his words in a way that seemed to indicate that Lavrov was threatening a nuclear apocalypse.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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Out of context

However, Sergey Lavrov was simply repeating what US President Joe Biden had said before.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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'Go ask Joe Biden'

According to the Russian newspaper Vechernaya Moskva, Lavrov was simply responding to a question made by a journalist about a hypothetical conflict between superpowers: “Go ask President Joe Biden, he promised that the alternative to sanctions would be the Third World War”.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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The diplomat

Even if Lavrov was only quoting Biden, his words made the world tremble. Let's go back a few decades and learn a bit more about Russia's most powerful and important diplomat.

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Childhood

Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov was born on March 21, 1950, in Moscow. His father, Viktor Kalantarov, was born in Tbilisi and had Armenian roots. Some sources claim that the name Lavrov was the maiden name of his mother, Kaleria Borisvna. Young Sergei Viktorovich was raised by his maternal grandparents due to his parents' constant business trips.

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Silver medal student

Sergey Lavrov studied in a high school that gave priority to the English language and graduated with a silver medal. He then enrolled in MGIMO, The Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

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Lavrov, the composer

Fun fact: Not many people know that Sergey Lavrov is the author of the MGIMO anthem. He's a big music enthusiast and plays the guitar, besides writing poetry.

Pictured: Lavrov in 2016 with MGIMO rector Anatoly Torkunov.

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Diplomatic post in Sri Lanka

After graduating from MGIMO in 1972, Sergey Lavrov worked in the Soviet Embassy of Sri Lanka as a translator, personal secretary, and assistant to ambassador Rafik Nishonov.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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Back to Moscow

Lavrov returned to Moscow in 1976 and continued to ascend the ranks under the Soviet regime. He worked as third and second secretary in the Section for the International Economic Relations of the Soviet Union. There, he was worked with various international organizations, including the United Nations.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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A New York minute

He moved to New York City in 1981, where he worked in the Soviet Permanent Mission at the United Nations. He remained there till 1988, though it would not be his last at the UN.

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At the United Nations

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 didn't stop Lavrov's diplomatic career. In 1992, he became Foreign Vice Minister of the Russian Federation. From 1994 to 1994 served as Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

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Da, Minister!

Sergey Lavrov was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in 2004, replacing Igor Ivanov. He was reappointed to the post in 2008 and 2012.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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Cabinet reshuffle

Cabinet reshuffles have not affected him, so far. He kept his position as Foreign Minister in 2018, when the current government was formed.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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The Middle East Quartet

Lavrov has been part of the Quartet on the Middle East to broker peace in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict since 2004.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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Against chemical weapons

He was part of the benchmark resolution against the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. This was made possible thanks to an agreement between Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry reached in Geneva in 2013.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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Representing Russia around the world

In 2015, he was part of the talks to reach an agreement on the Iranian Nuclear Program. That very same year, Russia's Foreign Minister also organized international conferences on Libya.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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Discussions over Syria

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation was part of the negotiations to reach an agreement in Syria in 2017.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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The Clinton-Lavrov Connection

Lavrov and Hillary Clinton had a close relationship when she was US Secretary of State. He called their relationship “extraordinary”.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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Former chain-smoker

Sergey Lavrov had a reputation of being a chain-smoker, but he has recently stated that he now smokes less and lives a healthier life.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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The Lavrov family

Sergei Lavrov is married to Maria Lavrova. Together, they have a daughter: Ekaterina. The Lavrovs' only child was born in New York City and studied outside Russia. Currently, she lives in Moscow and manages the Russian branch of Christie's auction house.

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Happy grandpa

Sergey Lavrov has two grandchildren. Here he can be seen with his grandson, Leonid, during a Victory Day parade in 2018.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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Highly regarded

According to a 2019 VTsIOM poll, the Foreign Minister enjoys third place on public approval, after Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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Russia's emissary to the world

After years of dedication in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov is regarded as an important diplomatic actor in the global landscape.

Sergey Lavrov - Putin's voice outside of Russia
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His biggest conundrum yet

And now Lavrov faces perhaps the biggest conundrum in his career. A recent, memorable moment was a hesitant Lavrov in front of the cameras, hard-pressed by Putin to say that the only option on Ukraine was the military one.

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Will history absolve him?

Nonetheless, hours later, he was defending Putin's actions without any qualms. History will say what will be the legacy of Sergey Lavrov, Russia's voice to the world.

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