Foreign Minister Lavrov: Diplomacy was yesterday

Status: 05/08/2022 08:54

No foreign minister has been in office as long as Sergei Lavrov. For years he was seen as a tough but valued negotiator – but he’s been slowly ruining that reputation recently.

By Christina Nagel, ARD Studio Moscow

In 2005, a look at the archives of Russian television shows that the Russian foreign minister was clearly on the right side of power. At a colorful party on the sidelines of an ASEAN conference, he appeared as a Jedi knight: with a hooded cape and a lightsaber – and caused general amusement as a peacekeeper and justice in the galaxy.

Most of his colleagues have now stopped laughing. For the way Sergei Lavrov now comes across as the protector of the Russian world has nothing to do with the scathing jokes and targeted taunts for which he was famous and sometimes notorious since his tenure as Russia’s representative to the United Nations.

Scandalous border crossings

Explanations like those of Italian television, like those of Italian television on the need for the special operation in Ukraine and on the need to denazify the country even though the president is Jewish, are perceived as clearly crossing borders: “ If I remember correctly, I hope I’m not mistaken Hitler also has Jewish blood. So that doesn’t mean anything. Jewish sages say that the most fervent anti-Semites are usually Jews.

Before the anniversary of the victory over Hitler’s Germany, Lavrov claimed that the West was trying to uproot and destroy the glorious pages of Russian history. He wants to make winners out of criminals. Promote fascism and Russophobia. The historical truth, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, is at stake, the security, interests and culture of Russia: “In fact, the future of the world is at stake. It is about what this world will be : unipolar under the command of the United States as Washington wants it and as all the other Western countries have already accepted, or fairly and democratically.”

Still on the Kremlin line

Stunned Western diplomatic circles say the preposterous claims are cynical distortions of the facts. US diplomat John Negroponte explained in 2016 that Lavrov’s morality is the Russian state. In fact, Lavrov not only represents the Kremlin line. He defends her. In all circumstances, on any subject, by any means. Gladly also with polemics: “You know, I thought there were only adults here.”

Lavrov mastered the entire repertoire, from dripping sarcasm to subtle irony to clear words. His rants are feared, as is his intransigence in negotiations, in which he has often successfully used all his diplomatic experience in the past.

A long-established respect lost

The respect he has earned as a longtime foreign minister is no longer felt on the international stage. When he began his address to the UN Human Rights Council in early March, around 140 diplomats left the room in Geneva. It was a scene that spoke louder than words.

Sergei Lavrov – diplomacy was yesterday

Christina Nagel, ARD Moscow, May 7, 2022 11:10 p.m.

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