Russian FM ‘rowing in tune’: Lavrov sports paddling skills in extreme rafting course (VIDEO)

© Konstantin Chalabov
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, swapped his business suit for a paddle and life vest at the opening of a rafting center in the central Russia, showing his ability to navigate treacherous waters isn’t solely restricted to the diplomatic realm.

Lavrov tackled the rapids at the Peretna River in Nizhny Novgorod region as part of an eight-man crew on Friday.

It took the Russian FM and his partners around seven minutes to complete the 600-meter water course.

The newly-opened Okulovka center, which provides unique conditions for rafting, is expected to become home for the national team and host top sporting events.

Lavrov is known as a hardcore rafting fan and has done a lot for the development of the extreme sport in Russia.

The FM even headed Russia’s Rafting Federation in 2007-2009, with the country taking a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics during his tenure.

On a recent visit to Finland, Lavrov compared rafting to diplomacy, saying that success in both fields “can only be achieved through well-coordinated teamwork when everyone is rowing in tune with each other. If someone would try to be selfish, ignoring his partners than the raft will overturn.”