from yesterday’s NY Times:

Mr. Ker­ry and Mr. Lavrov com­plet­ed the plan sit­ting by the pool at a Ge­neva ho­tel.


At the Unit­ed Na­tions, he was known for his elab­o­rate, seem­ing­ly ab­sent-mind­ed doo­dling dur­ing lengthy meet­ings but al­so for a com­mand of the is­sues.

“He was a great doo­dler, but his mind was al­ways spin­ning away,” said Charles A. Du­elfer, who was dep­uty head of the Unit­ed Na­tions’ weapons in­spec­tors pro­gram in Iraq in the 1990s and fre­quent­ly met with Mr. Lavrov at the Unit­ed Na­tions head­quar­ters in New York.

…Mr. Lavrov, a chain-smok­er, is known as an old-school dip­lo­mat. He flat­ly ig­nored an ef­fort by Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al Kofi An­nan to ban smok­ing in the Unit­ed Na­tions head­quar­ters, say­ing Mr. An­nan did not own the build­ing. He en­joys whiskey and cig­ars, and his hob­bies tend to­ward ac­tion sports like raft­ing and ski­ing.

He can show flashes of an­ger. When a pho­tog­ra­ph­er asked Mr. Lavrov, Mr. Ker­ry and the spe­cial en­voy, Lakhdar Brahi­mi, to pose af­ter a meet­ing in Ge­neva, Mr. Lavrov said: “You don’t give us or­ders; you just cap­ture the mo­ment.”


The for­mer Aus­trian for­eign min­is­ter, Ur­sula Plass­nik, called Mr. Lavrov “one of the most knowl­edge­able and re­spect­ed for­eign pol­i­cy ac­tors in the glob­al vil­lage.” On her first visit to Moscow, she said, Mr. Lavrov was wait­ing for her out­side the leg­end­ary Café Pushkin with a bunch of yel­low ros­es.

Cafe Pushkin

Ursula Plassnik

The history books:

Geor­gi I. Mirsky, a po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist at the In­sti­tute of World Econ­omy and In­ter­na­tion­al Re­la­tions, said that the Syria plan was re­al­ly Mr. Putin’s but that Mr. Lavrov will get the credit.

“In his­to­ry text­books, it will be Lavrov and Ker­ry — Lavrov the great man, he saves Syria from Amer­i­can mil­i­tary strikes, and al­so saves Barack Oba­ma from a hu­mili­at­ing and em­bar­rass­ing sit­u­a­tion in the Con­gress,” Mr. Mirsky said. “He is a bu­reau­crat, he is a good dip­lo­mat. He knows the score. And he will nev­er ever say any­thing that will con­tra­dict the of­fi­cial line.”

Who is gonna read that boring ass history book?  Not me unless Margaret MacMillan writes it.

(AFP photo of Lavrov and Kerry from here, Lavrov smoking from here credited to Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters, top photo is the Intercontinental Hotel Geneva)

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