Sergey Lavrov was born in Moscow on March 21, 1950. In 1972 Lavrov graduated from the Moscow State Institute.

In 1972 he began his diplomatic career in the Soviet Embassy in Sri Lanka at first as an intern and later as an attaché to the embassy.

In 1976 -1981 he worked at the Department of International Organizations of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an attaché, third and later second secretary.

In 1981 he worked in New York at the Permanent Mission of the USSR to the UN.

In 1988 -1990 he worked at the Department of International Economic Relations of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 1990-1992 he was Director of the Foreign Ministry's Department of International Organizations and Global Problems.

In April 1992 he became Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

In 1994 he was appointed permanent representative of Russia to the UN and the representative of the Russian Federation in the UN Security Council.

Since March 9, 2004 he has been Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.


Order of Merit for the Motherland, II degree (2010)

Order of Merit for the Motherland, III degree (2005)

Order of Merit for the Motherland, IV degree (1998)

Order of Honour (1996)

Distinguished Worker of the Diplomatic Service of the Russian Federation (2004)

Order of St. Daniel of Moscow, I degree (awarded by Russian Orthodox Church, 2010)

Order of St. Daniel of Moscow, II degree (awarded by Russian Orthodox Church)

Order of the Dostyk (Friendship) (awarded by Kazakhstan in 2005)

Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun (awarded by Peru in 2007)

Order of Friendship of Peoples (awarded by Belarus in 2006)

Order of Friendship (awarded by Vietnam in 2009)

Order of Friendship (awarded by Laos)

Medal of Honour (2010)

Order of Saint Mesrop Mashtots (awarded by Armenia in 2010)

Gold Medal of the Yerevan State University (awarded by Armenia in 2007)

Honour Medal for participation in UN projects (UN Association of Russia, 2005)

Lavrov is a heavy smoker. He actively opposed the ban on smoking in the UN building, introduced by the Secretary General Kofi Annan. He defiantly walked around the UN building with a portable ashtray and a cigarette.

He is married and has a daughter Ekaterina, a graduate of Columbia University (New York).

Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta



According to some reports, Putin noticed Lavrov already in 2000 during the Millennium Summit in New York. According to experts, Lavrov at that time was one of the most respected diplomats, enjoyed recognition of international and Russian political elite; he was best versed in matters of multilateral diplomacy. In addition, according to experts, Lavrov’s inevitable fascination by UN as the world centre of diplomacy was to quickly fade out, enriching him in experience and connections.

Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 11 March 2004


In mid-May 2004 Lavrov’s ministry was accused of disclosing information during the preparation of the presidential address to the Federal Assembly of Russia. The text of a number of proposals by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coincided with the contents of one of the articles by the minister. Lavrov said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had some of the statements of the presidential address ready before he began working at the ministry, and explained matches with his article by the unity of the basic principles of Russian foreign policy.

Source: Vremya Novostey, 18 May 2004


In 2004 Lavrov was engaged in solving the situation around the arrested Russian citizens in the emirate of Qatar. Three Russian citizens were detained in the United Arab Emirates and were accused of involvement in the murder of Zelimkhan Yendarbiev. One of the detainees, the first secretary of the Russian embassy in Qatar, who had diplomatic immunity, was released and returned to Russia. Two others, secret service officers, were brought before a court of Qatar and were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Russian citizens had to be freed through the interference of the Russian President and the Secretary of the Security Council. Vladimir Putin personally telephoned the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, President Bush, and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Igor Ivanv was directly involved in the negotiations with the Qatari authorities.

Lavrov spoke about the situation around detained Russian citizens very carefully, without giving any detailed comments.

Source:, 23 July 2004


In 2004 Lavrov accused OSCE of employing double standards when monitoring elections in different countries and turning this monitoring by the OSCE into a political tool, dealing exclusively with elections in former socialist countries to ensure that elections have a desired result for the West. Colin Powell denied the existence of double standards in the OSCE and said that free press, democracy, and the rule of law were in jeopardy in Russia.  The meeting ended in total failure. The members dispersed, without enacting a traditional final resolution. According to experts, Powell's criticism was directed not so much at Sergey Lavrov but at the Russian President.

Source: Kommersant, 08 December 2004


In 2006 when giving a speech dedicated to the beginning of Russia's presidency in the Council of Europe, Lavrov urged European politicians not to impose a single model of democracy for all countries. According to some experts, he only repeated the ideas put forward earlier by President Vladimir Putin and ideologist of the presidential administration, Vladislav Surkov.

Source: Kommersant, 31 May 2006


In 2006 Russia invited to Moscow the leaders of Hamas, whom Israel, the United States, and the European Union considered terrorists. Russia explained its decision by the need to engage Hamas in the political activities. Hamas leaders insisted on the highest level of reception in Moscow, but the delegation was met by Lavrov instead of Putin. Allegedly it was due to the fact that Hamas refused to comply with the main demand of the West and Russia, that is, to recognize Israel.

Source: Kommersant, 04 March 2006.


Lavrov consistently opposed the transfer of the so-called Iranian nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council and further sanctions against Tehran.

Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 17 October 2005


In November 2006 in London former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko died from poisoning with radioactive polonium-210. Criminal investigations and associated diplomatic scandals and tensions worsened bilateral relations between Russia and Great Britain.

According to Scotland Yard, Litvinenko was poisoned by a Russian businessman, Andrey Lugovoy, who was former bodyguard of Boris Berezovsky, former officer of the Main Guard Directorate of the Russian Federation, and member of Moscow city Duma. In early July 2007 the General Prosecuting Office refused to satisfy the request of Home Office to extradite Lugovoy.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the murder of Alexander Litvinenko could be investigated in Russia. And the prospect of Lugovoy’s extradition to the English authorities, whom British intelligence suspected of the crime, Lavrov called absolutely impossible. "General Prosecuting Office is ready to conduct an investigation along with the British colleagues if the British provide the case file,” he said. “But, as our investigators do not have sufficient information, such an investigation would be illegal and unconstitutional.”

Source: Lifenews, 02 November  2009


In September 2008 Lavrov was involved in a high-profile political scandal. The Daily Telegraph reported that the Minister in a telephone conversation with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband expressed his extreme irritation by means of obscenities. “Who are you to f *** lecture me?”  Lavrov asked his colleague. However, representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry denied the information on the use of profanity in Lavrov’s conversation with, Miliband, highlighting that the publication could be interpreted as an attempt to exacerbate the hysteria surrounding Russia's actions in the Caucasus.

Source:, 13 September 2008


And the April 2009 NATO leaders claimed that "Russian intelligence activity the in the structures of the alliance had recently increased” and announced a withdrawal of accreditation from two Russian diplomats. Victor Kochukov and Basil Chizhov, accused of espionage and left without NATO accreditation were expelled from Brussels.

In response to NATO's actions Russia lifted accreditation from two employees of the Alliance Information Bureau in Moscow. "Naturally, we were forced to respond, and today we have responded, we announced the suspension of accreditation of two NATO Moscow Information Office employees... This is, excuse me, the laws of the genre, and NATO partners, at least those who initiated the expulsion of the two Russian diplomats, could not expect us to react differently", said Lavrov.

Source: RIA Novosti, 06 May 2009


In June 2010 U.S. media reported about a large-scale operation of the security agencies. Ten people were incarcerated without right to be freed on bail. The ten people, according to a report posted on the website of the U.S. Justice Department, were allegedly members of a group of agents. U.S. intelligence officials claimed that during a decade-long investigation they gathered compelling evidence that those people had been working in the interests of Moscow. Sergey Lavrov commented on the story of the arrest evasively saying that "The timing was chosen with grace." He then demanded an official explanation from Washington D.C. Later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the charges stovepiping. And some time later the Ministry officially acknowledged that those arrested in the U.S. were Russians.

Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 30 June 2010


In 2011 media reported that Lavrov was reportedly unhappy with Dmitry Medvedev, and that soon his resignation may follow. Sergey Lavrov had an aggressive foreign policy in the spirit of the previous president, and has long been pain in the neck of the American Department of State. Medvedev, who positions his activities as a liberal alternative to the national-conservative politics of his predecessor, is ready to dismiss Lavrov. In addition, the head of Russian diplomacy has displeased the president by the inconsistency of his statements on the events in Libya and Ivory Coast with the position voiced by Medvedev. "We are firmly against the use of military force against civilians", said Sergey Lavrov in the midst of a dispute in the ruling tandem around the resolution № 1973 of UN Security Council.

Source: Scandals, 14 April 2011