Lavrov (last Saturday): “Libya was bombed and its government was violently overthrown. It was turned into a backyard for terrorists and criminals. The regime was changed with the help of fighters who came from Europe. They were free to leave their countries because everybody knew where they were going and what they were going to do there. And then they were welcomed back. Now, we just see the consequences of these irresponsible policies."

Vladimir Putin has been an effective leader of Russia since 1999. Currently there is speculation that his health is not what it used to be and that the strain of office may be telling upon him. Nonetheless he remains immensely popular in his own country and has restored to it some of the weight and dignity that it lost under his immediate predecessors. Sooner or later he must step down and the question arises who might follow and what that person's perspective will be. Clearly the foreign minister Lavrov shares much of Putin's perspective and is an effective communicator and experienced operator. The internal workings of the Kremlin are hard to fathom, but the emergence of Lavrov as the new leader would  probably ensure continuity in Russian policy.  

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