Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: Relegation from respected diplomat to pariah by Putin's grace
Created: 2022-12-13, 5:52 p.m
By: Markus Hofstetter
Over the years of his long career, Sergey Lavrov has earned the respect of his international colleagues.
Little is left of it now.
Moscow - Over the years of his long diplomatic career, which began in Sri Lanka in 1972 after graduating from the renowned Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has earned the respect of his counterparts.
But since the annexation of Crimea by Russia, this respect has eroded further and further.
Since the beginning of the Ukraine war, Lavrov has definitely disavowed himself with his statements.
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The list of his mistakes is long.
Most recently, when he was unable to travel to an OSCE ministerial meeting in Łódź, Poland, because he was denied a visa, Lavrov launched into tirades.
"The spirit and the letter of the OSCE Charter have been destroyed," he said at a televised press conference on December 1.
The OSCE is dominated by the West and has thus lost its own importance as a mediator.
Before the war broke out, the OSCE observers stationed in the Donetsk region ignored the increasing attacks by the Ukrainian army on the Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine and in some cases even helped them.
Facts were discovered that the OSCE had participated in directing the fire on Donetsk and Luhansk.
Poland "has been digging a grave" for the organization all year, he said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has become a man who is often avoided internationally © Bay Ismoyo/dpa/picture alliance
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It was similar in June, when Lavrov was unable to travel to Serbia due to airspace closures.
The 72-year-old criticized this as "outrageous" and a "disgraceful punishment" for a country that wanted to determine its own foreign policy according to its national interests.
While Russia's ex-president Dmitry Medvedev is currently threatening the West with the most powerful weapons of destruction in the Ukraine war, Lavrov accused the West of wanting to divide the world in the ongoing general debate at the UN General Assembly in New York in September.
"They are no longer even embarrassed to openly declare that the intention is not just to inflict a military defeat on our country, but to destroy Russia, to dismember it."
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Even Pope Francis got his fat off.
The Holy Father said in an interview that members of two ethnic minorities in Russia are among the "cruelest" in Moscow's military in Ukraine.
Lavrov then condemned this statement as “unchristian”.
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Wanted poster Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov
Birthday: March 21, 1950
Place of birth: Moscow
Wife: Maria Lavrova
Daughter: Ekaterina Lavrova (*1982)
Studies: Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO)
Lavrov claimed that Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood.
"The wise Jewish people say that the most fervent anti-Semites are usually Jews," he continued in an interview with Italian TV Rete4.
This even went too far for Vladimir Putin, who apologized to Israel.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov defends cruel warfare against Ukraine
Lavrov also vehemently defends the cruel Russian warfare in Ukraine.
He justifies the targeted attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure.
"This infrastructure supports the combat capability of the Ukrainian armed forces and nationalist battalions," he said during a televised press conference.
At the same time, he accused NATO and the USA of similar warfare in the past in Yugoslavia and Iraq.
He also claims that Moscow's actions are aimed at minimizing the number of civilian casualties.
Lavrov has also backed accusations against the Ukrainian government of planning to detonate a nuclear-contaminated bomb.
He explained that there is "concrete information about the institutes in Ukraine that have the appropriate technologies to build such a 'dirty bomb'".
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These statements are in contrast to the early years of his career.
According to the
editorial network Germany (RND),
during his time as Russia's permanent representative at the UN from 1994 to 2004, he was considered a tough representative of Russian politics.
Nevertheless, he was a well-respected personality who often shone in the Security Council with clever statements, edgy humor and a dazzling personality.
Part of that personality was a fondness for vodka and cigarettes.
But apparently even then there were signs that Lavrov also had another side.
Former Interior Minister Gerhart Baum (1978-1982) said on RTL in March 2022 that Lavrov had been "a notorious liar for decades".
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: from respected diplomat to pariah
Lavrov became Russia's foreign minister in 2004.
According to RND,
his international colleagues at the time certified his
high level of professionalism.
Accordingly, he meticulously prepared for negotiations, chose his words carefully and his statements had a connection to reality.
But that has changed over the years, at least since the annexation of Crimea in 2014 this change is visible.
Meanwhile, Lavrov, who is on the EU sanctions list for Russia's attack on Ukraine, has become a shunned outsider.
He himself reacted brusquely, for example when he left the UN Security Council room in New York after his speech in September without listening to the opinions of other countries.
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He still finds support in the power apparatus of the Russian President.
But for how much longer?
"It is consistent with the logic of Putinism that all members of the team of a ruler who has been in power for twenty years are now only means of his power," Lilia Shevtsova, a former fellow student of Lavrov's student days, told
It looks like Lavrov sacrificed his good reputation for other benefits or life goals.
However, Lavrov seems to have misjudged this.
Putin has surrounded himself with an inner circle of confidants from the secret service and military milieu.
These include Nikolai Patrushev, Sergei Naryschkin and Alexander Bortnikov – but not Lavrov.
The Russian foreign minister is said not even to have been privy to Putin's military plans before the invasion of Ukraine.
Only: As long as Lavrov trumpets the Kremlin's propaganda around the world, Putin will probably stick with him.