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Monument to Yevgeny Primakov unveiled in Moscow

October 29, 2019, Moscow

Vladimir Putin took part in the unveiling of a monument to Yevgeny Primakov in the park square near the Foreign Ministry.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Yevgeny Primakov’s widow Irina Primakova. Special Presidential Envoy for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi conducted the ceremony.

The monument was created by a team of sculptors led by National Artist Georgy Frangulyan. October 29, 2019 is the 90th birth anniversary of outstanding statesman, scholar and politician Yevgeny Primakov.

Yevgeny Primakov was one of Russia’s leading experts in oriental studies and a prominent scholar in the fields of the global economy and international relations. Mr Primakov was Prime Minister (1998–1999), Foreign Minister (1996–1998), and Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (1991–1996).

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Speech at the unveiling ceremony

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, Mrs Primakova, ladies and gentlemen,

Today, we are unveiling a monument to Yevgeny Primakov, a scholar, diplomat, statesman, a man of immense scale and inexhaustible inner strength.

Many people in Russia and around the world remember Yevgeny Primakov and think about him with great respect, warmth and heart-felt gratitude. They are aware of the uniqueness and singularity of his personality, his mind, his versatile talent, knowledge and wisdom and invariably great human dignity.

Personally, I often recall my meetings with Yevgeny Primakov and our frank conversations. He was and remains for me an example of deep, responsible and proactive love of the homeland, an example of generosity, reliability and decency.

In each period of his full, active life he gave priority to the interests of his country. He never tried to please anyone, and he was not afraid of challenging problems, trying to resolve them professionally, calmly and convincingly. He would soldier on and, when necessary, found an acceptable balance. He unfailingly pinpointed the essence of events, going into detail, comprehensively analysing difficult problems and seeing the perspective. The “Primakov method” helped to improve forecasts many times and in a variety of fields, to look ahead, find a non-standard strategy and choose the best possible response.

He has done a great deal to strengthen the prestige of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations. Although he was not an intelligence professional, he helped to win respect for the Foreign Intelligence Service and to maintain and strengthen its best traditions. As the Prime Minister in a very difficult, highly complicated and even dramatic period in Russian history, he managed to bring about political and economic stabilisation.

Yevgeny Primakov’s tenure as the Foreign Minister of Russia was a special page in his life. It was largely thanks to his efforts that respect for Russia was revived in international diplomacy and the Foreign Ministry fully affirmed the unconditional priority of national interests and the efforts to uphold them firmly and consistently.

An Oriental and Arab scholar, Yevgeny Primakov knew that the world is more complicated than any cliché or stereotype. He had a strategic vision and worked hard to promote the idea of multipolarity. In fact, it was Yevgeny Primakov who clearly formulated the key principles of the modern world development. We see that multipolarity is no longer a trend but a reality today.

In my opinion, it is symbolic that a monument to Yevgeny Primakov has been erected near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is our common duty to preserve his legacy and to keep listening to Yevgeny Primakov’s voice.

I hope that this wonderful monument will help to immortalise this great citizen of Russia.

Thank you.

Irina Primakova: Mr President, friends,

On behalf of our big family, let me thank you for the lofty and kind words you said about Yevgeny Primakov.

Many thanks to Mr Lavrov for his idea to install this monument. I thank talented sculptor Georgy Frangulyan, who has implemented this idea. I thank Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, all architects, builders, and all those involved in the creation of this memorial.

You know, it is very difficult to picture a loved one in bronze. But our family is proud that from now on the memory of Yevgeny Primakov and his deeds will be eternal.

Thank you.

October 29, 2019, Moscow