Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov is a Russian diplomat and politician who has served as the Foreign Minister of Russia since 2004. As a member of the United Russia party, he was previously the Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, serving in the role from 1994 to 2004.
Early life and education
Lavrov was born on 21 March 1950 in Moscow, to an Armenian father from Tbilisi and a Russian mother from Noginsk. His father's surname was originally Kalantaryan. His mother worked in the Soviet Ministry for Foreign Trade. Lavrov graduated from high school with a silver medal. Since his favorite class was physics, he planned to enter either the National Research Nuclear University or the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, but he entered the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and graduated in 1972.
During his education at the MGIMO, Lavrov studied international relations. Soon he learned Sinhalese, then the only official language of Sri Lanka, as well as Dhivehi, the official language of the Maldives. Moreover, Lavrov learned English and French, but has stated that he is unable to speak the French language fluently. After he was admitted to the university, Lavrov, along with other students, was sent for a month to a student construction brigade building the Ostankino Tower.
During his summer vacations, Lavrov also worked in his university's student construction brigades in Khakassia, Tuva and the Russian Far East. Each semester, Lavrov with his fellow students conducted drama performances, which were later presented on the main stage of the university. During the third year of his studies, Lavrov was married.
Lavrov speaks Russian, English, French, Dhivehi and Sinhala.
Lavrov is a keen sportsman. He likes to watch football games on television, is an ardent fan of the Moscow club Spartak, and a keen amateur footballer in his own right. He has been married since 1971 to Maria Lavrova and they have one daughter and at least 1 grandchild. Their daughter Ekaterina, who lived in the US and London while her father was working for the United Nations, is a graduate of Columbia University. Having stayed in New York City until 2014, and spent a long time outside Russia, she is not fluent in Russian. She is married to Russian businessman Alexander Vinokurov.