Russian FM Sergey Lavrov stays; Mil-boss Sergei Shoigu moves

A formidable duo of the world’s most seasoned statesman (Putin) and the world’s most esteemed diplomat, (Lavrov) continues. 12 May 2024, Russia renewed an appointment first made on 9 March 2004, when Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin first appointed the Hon. Sergey Lavrov to the post of minister of foreign affairs.

Mr. Lavrov succeeded Igor Ivanov in 2004 and had earned global respect for decades as an accomplished diplomat on ‘Embassy Row’ and at the United Nations.

Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin has made a series of nominations to be decided by the Russian parliament. Additionally, Mr. Putin has made some ultra-senior appointments normally decided by the president of the RF.

It is likely most nominations will be approved as none are controversial but one or two which have a plurality of good candidates may be voted at variance from the Kremlin’s recommendations. Several observers have predicted that benign outcome.

Acting PM, Mikhail Mishustin, is to be made the official Prime Minister.

Sergei Shoigu (68), the serving Defence Minister until 11 May, is now enjoying a quasi-promotion to the role of Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation where policy and ideals will be his focus as a slightly younger man takes over the reins of the in-action role of Defence Minister.

The Security Council incumbent, Nikolai Patrushev, seems to have been disentitled and will be reassigned at a later time.

An economist is expected to run the civilian side of the Russian military. He is a long-time government finance official and former aide to the Russian President. He is Andrei Belousov (65), until now, a Deputy PM.

While the Cabinet of Mr. Putin will change across the board, these are long rumoured changes. Expect some minor readjustments in the next year say fellow observers.

How do Russian Women see the many changes?

An expected shake-up in Moscow is taking place and, “there is an air of excitement across the board,” says Svetlana who leads a Moscow chapter of RINJ Women.

“I think President Putin has once again read the minds of the people very well and he is responding to some popular views. Obviously, people want an end to this war against NATO in Ukraine and most important we want freedom from suffering for the people in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk. I feel so strongly about that. There are many other efforts needed like thanking those Russian companies and their workers who are doing a beautiful job replacing the crass American outlets that ran away. When I go to my favourite shoe stores and clothing outlets I get ‘genuine’ service and genuine love, and care. Take the kids to a fast food and play area franchise and it’s amazing what the Russian replacements have become. I am liking the changes and know scores of women who say the same. But we all want to see better prices. We have that in some things but let’s see what the new government will do to help consumers,” Sveta added with an optimistic laugh, and “yah~!”.

When asked about some of the key appointments in the wind, Svetlana was quite pointed. “People love Sergey Lavrov and President Putin representing us around the world. If either one would retire now at a time like this, I would be crying not talking. The whole country would be like that, I am sure.”

Excerpt from a significant, candid interview with Russian Federation Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on 5 May.

Question: You have been serving as Foreign Minister for a very long time, 20 years. You interacted with representatives and leaders of the United States early on, and you did so more recently. What has changed? What kind of people are sitting in Washington now, and why are they impossible to talk to?

Minister Lavrov re-appointed

9 March 2004, President Vladimir Putin appointed Sergey Lavrov to the post of minister of foreign affairs. 12 May 2024, President Putin renewed this appointment. Photo credit: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Photo is cropped for publication purposes (original). Art, cropping, enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective-Magazine

Response to this single question follows, as an excerpt from what is a wide-ranging interview which can be read here.

Russian Federation Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

“These individuals are captive to centuries of Western hegemony on the global stage.

They are hostage to colonial and neo-colonial policies and they still want to continue to live at the expense of others.

They created globalization and strengthened the U.S. dollar, hailing it as the world’s main currency, not the property of the United States, but the property of global society, the backbone of world trade and investment.

They also hailed the World Trade Organization, fair competition, the presumption of innocence, and market mechanisms.

But as soon as China took advantage of that globalized system imposed by the Americans and began to outplay the United States, they immediately blocked the WTO Dispute Settlement Body.

Once China filed complaints at DSB over US discrimination, they just shut it down. The DSB is inactive now; what methods they have used to do it is beside the point.

In much the same way, when they decided to punish Russia, they shrugged off the inviolability of property and stole our state reserves, a national asset essentially contributed by Russian taxpayers.

It is worth negotiating when the other party embraces the need to find a balance of interests, not when they use any means to try and impose their will, to force the other party to obey.

So far, this is what we have seen them do; the only dialogue they agree to is one between the hegemon and the rest of the world.

They do not seem ready for a fair dialogue, as required by the UN Charter.

There has been much debate.

The 2024 United States elections are scheduled to be held soon.

There is no split between Democrats and Republicans on Russia or China.

Some may take a tougher stance, others may use an even tougher rhetoric than that, but we do not see any difference in principle.

Both parties (whichever of them wins the election), by and large, see Russia as their enemy.

An opponent, or an adversary – these are technicalities.

The American establishment sees what they describe as a ‘strategic defeat’ of Russia as their goal anyway.

As President of Russia Vladimir Putin said in response to a similar question, we are ready to work with any leader of the United States who has the trust of the American people, if they are ready.

Well, as we Russians say, love cannot be forced.”

The entire interview can be found here: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Bosnian Serb television network ATV, Moscow, May 5, 2024 – courtesy The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (