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17 Dec, 2018 16:47

‘I didn’t really get into rap’: Lavrov on music, borscht, world policy & Harry Truman

‘I didn’t really get into rap’: Lavrov on music, borscht, world policy & Harry Truman

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sat down for a lengthy interview, going through many issues, from global conflicts and his days at the UN to borscht and rap music. RT brings you the highlights.

On Monday, the minister stopped by to have a long chat with reporters from Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

Some US politicians may at times advocate for good relations, but at the end of the day they view Moscow as a competitor, Lavrov said.

They want dialogue with us only [on issues] where they see profit. Especially, since right now the business mentality is blatantly manifesting itself in the American foreign policy. It’s a shortsighted approach.

Reporters wondered who of the past US leaders the minister would wish to have a conversation with. Lavrov’s answer came quickly: 33rd President Harry Truman.

Succeeding Franklin D. Roosevelt, he “suddenly segued into Cold War” and it “would be interesting to understand why.”

Also on rt.com World witnessing ‘unprecedented tensions’ & collapsed treaties but no threat of a major war – Lavrov

The minister voiced his own theory – the Soviet Union was the Western powers’ true ally during WWII but a “situational ally,” nonetheless. Even given the fact that it was a “situation of life and death for most of humanity,” he added.

As for today’s politics, Lavrov agreed that the globe is experiencing “an unprecedented escalation of tensions.” At the same time, the official believes that major nations won’t let the planet slide into a full-blown conflict.

I’m strongly convinced that the politicians of the key countries can’t allow some kind of big war. Public opinion wouldn’t let them. Their [own] people wouldn’t let them.

Before becoming foreign minister, Lavrov spent a decade serving as Russia’s envoy to the United Nations. The days in New York City, where the organization’s HQ is located, helped to forge a calm and level-headed demeanor which the minister became known for.

[Time spent] in New York City served as a good school in terms of reacting to various crisis situation in the Security Council. When someone runs up [saying] that something has flared up and we have to urgently adopt a resolution, we wish to understand what happened before rushing to action.

Lavrov said he favors a studied, thought-through approach when it comes to world affairs, without making decisions on a whim, like breaking off diplomatic relations.

“I’m in principle categorically against a foreign policy which would go like: okay, we’ve been offended, now let’s sever our ties.”

Politics aside, Moscow’s foreign affairs chief touched on his taste in music. Does he fancy rap by any chance? Not quite.

No, I didn’t really get into listening rap. I like bards.

The minister listed a couple of his favorite Soviet and Russian poets who wrote and performed acoustic guitar-driven songs. Artists like Vladimir Vysotsky, Bulat Okudzhava and Oleg Mityaev.

Also on rt.com Russian diplomacy is winning the New Cold War – Stephen Cohen

Lavrov said he likes to spend time outdoors, and enjoys traditional Russian dishes: borscht and a cabbage soup called ‘shchi’.

Another Russian tradition is making personal wishes on New Year’s Eve, but the minister said he will give that a miss on this occasion.

“I’m not used to making wishes. I’m less of a fantasizer, but a realist.”

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