The May 2017 issue of the Russian edition of Esquire Magazine features an expansive interview with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
In the interview, Lavrov reveals his personal side, including his love for Russian soccer club Spartak Moscow, his penchant for jazz music, and his fondness for the poetry of Sergei Yesenin and Alexander Blok.
Просто крутая обложка майского номера Esquire pic.twitter.com/n8ORc2oEJb— Мюсли Лаврова (@LavrovMuesli) 17 апреля 2017 г.
"Just a cool cover to the May issue of Esquire."
In the same interview, when asked whether the international situation today is simpler or more difficult than it was during the Cold War, Lavrov answered categorically: international relations are harder today.
"Of course it's harder now," the chief Russian diplomat noted. "Back then there were two empires: that of the West and that of the Soviet Union; each fueled conflicts with their rival on the territory of third countries, but never within its borders and never directly. Even the public rhetoric was softer. The two camps did not cross the bounds of what was permissible. Today, there are no more rules."
The minister added that in a sense, Russian-US relations are continuing to develop by inertia, because many appointees from the Obama administration continue to remain in their positions today.
At the same time, Lavrov expressed hope in building a rapport with his vis-à-vis Rex Tillerson, saying that he already has "good, if not friendly relations" with the Secretary of State. He emphasized that while he and Tillerson might make tough statements against one another from time to time, they communicate normally in person.
Ultimately, Lavrov admitted that during difficult negotiations, when the other side "can't hear" Russia's position, it helps to think about his favorite soccer team.