Sergei Lavrov is one of the few Kremlin officials to have held a ministerial post for 18 years and shaped the country’s foreign policy.
At the moment, the head of the Foreign Ministry is definitely under considerable stress and mental strain. He exhibits anxiety and compulsive neurotic action. Sleep problems, weakness, reduced productivity and low libido are hallmarks of this condition.
By temperament, Lavrov is phlegmatic. He is balanced, calm, inert, restrained. He can handle pressure and work under pressure. Lavrov values consistency and durability. He has a reliable memory and tends to make thoughtful, balanced, low-risk choices. The Kremlin’s high-risk foreign policy decisions therefore suggest that they were initiated at the presidential level. The political risk obviously challenges Lavrov’s reputation as a professional diplomat.
Minister Lavrov is pedantic, balanced, responsible. He has a great capacity for work. He is attentive, collected, procedural, observant, able to navigate difficult situations.
Lavrov has a high opinion of himself and his professional skills. It is characterized by pride, self-esteem and self-importance, vanity, arrogance. He has high self-esteem. He likes when his experience, importance and achievements are respected, he likes bureaucracy and special attention with compliments to himself. However, he is affected and offended when someone points out the incompleteness of his power and influence. This puts more pressure on him than accusations of financial abuse (because he serves the interests of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and helped him obtain a visa for the United States), double life (because he a mistress and includes her in the official delegations of the MAE).
He is indecisive in his personal life. Although he is married, he has been living with Svetlana Polyakova for almost 20 years, which is no secret to either the Kremlin or the MFA. She has a lot of influence in the ministry, as she even influences staffing decisions, accompanies him on official visits, not holding a position in the ministry. The ties maintained with the official wife testify to certain obligations and a low morale which allows her to live with two families.
He treats others with contempt and disdain, he believes he is smarter than others, while most people are myopic and undeserving of his attention. He knows how to influence people and knows how to make someone feel uncomfortable, make someone think something was inappropriate to say, he can stifle an opponent using his “authority” and pseudo-arguments. The company of high world officials flatters him, he allows himself to make some concessions to them, to accept some of their alternative arguments, he chooses the words and expressions in their presence so as not to discredit himself or his authority. At a time, he allows himself to be rude and insult those he considers inferior, when talking to uncontrolled people journalists, for example. These are not unfiltered emotional attacks, but a planned response aimed at once again emphasizing his superiority.
Scandals with insults and swearing speak more of a conscious decision to offend than of the fact that it was “triggered” or “couldn’t contain itself”. In this way, Lavrov demonstrates a great ability to manage his state and his emotions. He consciously reacts to the situation and its change. It uses emotional physical activities, for example playing football or rafting, to compensate for internal mental anxiety due to contained emotions and for psychological relief.
Lavrov does not hesitate to use a whole series of the most absurd propaganda “arguments”, because he is sure that this does not harm his reputation. That is the country’s position, he believes, and Russia’s reputational risks are a lower priority than its personal reputational risks.
He does not miss the opportunity to recall his status, as if the status is the only thing he has, it is the highest value that indicates his success in life. He has a limited social circle that includes 2 types of people – those who will admire his wisdom and breadth of personality and those who can form a company worthy of intellectual debate. As for the rest of the people, they just use them.
Lavrov has a responsible attitude towards his position and the duties assigned to him. He believes himself to be superprofessional, that is, irreplaceable and unique. He is delighted with the idea of its importance. He’s proud of his professional accomplishments, but he’s well aware that he’s already passed the peak of his career, with a downturn just ahead. He has a certain fatigue from acting in his current social role, he is eager not only to rest, but also to go out on a high note, to have his legacy “intact”. Lavrov has lost the initiative, he is no longer as excited as before, and he no longer wants to prove his exceptional efficiency, reach new heights or gain recognition and praise – he has already achieved everything, been everywhere and seen everything. He feels he has already earned his reputation and crafted an extraordinary career. It must hurt him to go through this lack of a handshake under such conditions, as he watches how everything he’s built on his own is going to hell, as he views it as a belittlement of his own accomplishments.
We can suppose he was driven by an inferiority complex while building his career, as he felt others were getting ahead of him. He made up for this with his haughty attitude and neglect of others, as he strongly emphasized that he was superior to others, when they would have submitted. Lavrov uses power as an opportunity to assert himself. Thus, the pressure points are as follows:
• to emphasize that his power is incomplete and that his role for the State and for history is uncertain,
• it is easy to handle,
• he lacks independence,
• he is controlled and humiliated by the high government,
• his achievements are depreciated,
• to refer to better examples of success,
• ruined career and dubious reputation,
• all his efforts were in vain.
Lavrov is very intelligent with a productive brain. He quickly adapts to the situation, knows the circumstances well and behaves accordingly. He is used to acting within a rigid structure with precise decisions and restrictions, rights and responsibilities. It can get confusing if there are no strict regulators.
It is believed that Lavrov’s main motivation is not to achieve success, but to avoid failures and prevent mistakes. He thinks he has accomplished enough in his life, so he seeks to save his professional face, to ensure his safety and that of his future.
In communication, he answers personal questions about his attitude, personal experience or private life with little preparation. He becomes nervous in a situation where he has to move forward, because he inwardly admits that his interlocutor has the advantage. He is deaf to emotional arguments, tries to appeal to something human, etc.He prefers to convey meaning by speaking, and rarely uses non-verbals (gestures, facial expressions). It feels like he often strays from what he says, as he just touches on certain topics without any personal conviction or emotional involvement. The main strategy for answering uncomfortable questions when you’re stuck in a corner is to shift responsibility or change the topic of conversation. When he is unsure of what he is saying, he does not even insist that he is right, but quickens the pace of the conversation and the flow of thoughts, urging the interlocutor to move on to something else. He treats with respect only those who, according to him, correspond to his status and the desired circle of communication (the one who raises him in the eyes of others, where he longs to see himself). He neglects people of lower status, knows how to suppress them and does not take them seriously.