Andrei Vladimirovich Kozyrev was the foreign minister of Russia under President Boris Yeltsin from October 1991 to January 1996. A graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Kozyrev joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR in 1978 and held various posts, including the Head of the Department of International Organizations. Read More >
Taking advantage of Gorbachev "glasnost," a partial liberalization of the press, Kozyrev published articles advocating not only the end of the Cold War, but full-scale partnership with the West.
Kozyrev stood by Yeltsin against the hard-line coup in the seized-by-tanks Russian White House, the opposition headquarters, and flew to Paris to set up a government in exile when the plotters had not failed within a few days. He later took part in the December 1991 meeting of the leaders of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, where the decision to dissolve the Soviet Union was taken. He was appointed on December 26, 1991, as the first Foreign Minister of the new Russia, where he pursued policy of equal cooperation with newly independent states freed from Soviet domination; strategic partnership with the US and other western countries; and good-neighbor relations with China, South Korea, and Japan. His American counterparts were Jim Baker, Larry Eagleburger, and Warren Christopher.
In the fall of 1995, as oligarchy was taking over and Russian foreign policy was turning back to a more conservative course, he was under pressure and criticized as "pro-Western" by some, including Yeltsin. Kozyrev successfully ran in then-competitive elections in the northern city of Murmansk and for the next four years represented it in Duma, the new Russian Parliament, leaving the post of the minister on January 6, 1996. This time a public campaign for liberal democracy and alliance with the West fell on deaf ears, and he abandoned politics with the end of his Duma mandate.
From 2000 to present he has been in business as a private entrepreneur, top executive, and board member of a number of international and Russian companies. Kozyrev is currently chairman of the boards of Orange (France Telecom) Russia and Swedish/Swiss investment fund 11 Invest.
Andrei Kozyrev’s combination of unique political and business experience allows him to speak plainly on subjects like politics and economics, the opportunities and risks of investing in Russia, and history. Read Less ^