By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is embodying the Kremlin’s defiant posture during the invasion of Ukraine with a mixture of toughness and sarcasm. It’s President Vladimir Putin who single-handedly shapes the country’s foreign policy. And few doubt it was his decision to launch the attack. But Lavrov delivers Moscow’s message with a bluntness uncharacteristic for a diplomat. The 71-year-old Lavrov has been in office for nearly 18 years and has seen relations with the West shift from near-friendly to openly hostile and now plummet to a catastrophic low with the Russian war against Ukraine. The conflict prompted the European Union to hit both Putin and Lavrov with asset freezes in an unprecedented blow to Moscow’s pride.