Sergey Lavrov was a young am-dram enthusiast before foreign minister job

Bruno Cooke March 3, 2022
Sergey Lavrov was a young am-dram enthusiast before foreign minister job
Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images


Sergey Lavrov is a Russian diplomat under personal sanctions from the European Union, US and Canada for his role in the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. But before he became Putin’s minister of foreign affairs, as a young man Sergey Lavrov was an amateur dramatics enthusiast and polyglot.

Meet Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov

Born in Moscow on 21 March 1950, Sergey Lavrov is 71 years old. He will turn 72 in little more than two weeks. 

His father – surname Kalantaryan – was Armenian, from Tbilisi, then in the Georgian SSR. His mother, Kaleria Borisovna Lavrova, was Russian, from Noginsk, not far from Moscow. She worked in the Ministry of Foreign Trade.

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Photo credit should read JON LEVY/AFP via Getty Images

Armedia quotes Lavrov as saying in 2005: “My father is from Tbilisi. It is difficult to compare my Armenian blood with any other as I do not have any other.”

But despite his Armenian heritage, Lavrov doesn’t speak his native tongue. He moved with his parents to Moscow at pre-school age.

What was Sergey Lavrov like at a young age?

Lavrov graduated from high school with a silver medal. His favourite class was physics, but he also took well to languages. 

During his education at the Moscow State Institute Of International Relations (MGIMO), from which he graduated in 1972, he learned Sinhalese – then the single official language of Sri Lanka – and Dhivehi, the official language of the Maldives.

He also speaks English and French. As per Armedia, he is a keen sports fan and “doesn’t miss the chance to play football or ski”.

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He was among the founders of the Russian national football league, plays the guitar and writes poems, and wrote the text for the official anthem of MGIMO.

During his summer holidays as a young adult, Sergey Lavrov and his fellow students conducted drama performances, which they would perform in the university’s theatre.

Lavrov married his wife during his third year at MGIMO

Sergey Lavrov and his wife, Maria Lavrova, married in 1971. They have one daughter and two grandchildren.

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Their daughter, Ekaterina Sergeyevna Lavrova, was born and raised in New York. At the time her father worked for the United Nations. She remained in New York until 2014 – she lived in the US for almost 17 years in total – and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in political science.

Ekaterina met her husband, Alexander Vinokurov, in London. They married in 2007 and have two children. Star Hit interviewed her in February 2017 – read the piece here.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or