Sergej Viktorovič Lavrov has been Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation since 2004. He started his career in 1972 at the Soviet embassy in Sri Lanka. From 1976 to 1981 he worked in the Department of International Organisations of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1981 to 1988, he served as First Secretary, Counselor and Senior Counselor in the Permanent Representation of the USSR at the UN. In 1988, he was appointed Deputy Head of the Department of International Economic Relations of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1990 to 1992 he was Head of the Department of International Organisations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He worked as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1992 to 1994 and as Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN from 1994 to 2004.