Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview for a documentary about the 75th anniversary of MGIMO University of the Foreign Ministry of Russia, Moscow, October 14, 2019
I applied to the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI), but my mum said: “Well, if you want to study at MEPhI, fine with me. But, like with the majority of universities, the admissions tests begin there on August 1, whereas the exams at MGIMO start on July 1. Why not give it a try? This would not mean betraying your calling, your desire to study at MEPhI. Why not explore this avenue to see how versatile you are?”
This is when I decided not to push my luck and spent July excavating the foundation pit for the Ostankino TV Centre rather than preparing for exams. This is how it happened, almost by chance.
During that construction project? Helped me? Meaning helped me carry construction stretchers? Yes, my old friend, the current MGIMO Rector Anatoly Torkunov, was there with me, digging that pit. We laid the foundation for the super-high technologies which our television business now has.
He asked one of them: “Who are you?” The boy replied: “I am Sergey.” He turned to me: “And who are you?” I replied: “I am Sergey as well.” His next question was: “And what is your patronymic?” I replied: “Viktorovich.” To this, he said: “In that case, goodbye.” It turned out that the student assigned to that group was Sergey Vladimirovich Lavrov. I was enrolled not at the 1st but at the last, 11th group.
This also reflects a current trend at the ministry in general. While remaining loyal to MGIMO and the Diplomatic Academy as our anchor schools, the suppliers of our personnel and our alma mater, we would like to diversify the geography of the graduates who are employed at the ministry. This trend has been growing stronger throughout my tenure as minister. Our personnel include graduates of St Petersburg State University, Urals Federal University, Far Eastern Federal University and many other universities. As for those who enrol at MGIMO, Anatoly Torkunov told me before the start of the academic year on September 1 that they have students from over 70 Russian regions − in different proportions, but it is very important, nevertheless, that our alma mater attracts talented young people from across Russia.
The full text of the interview will be published shortly.