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Lavrov Speech Honors Late Yevgeny Primakov as ‘Outstanding Statesman’

Oct. 29, 2019 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov delivered an address yesterday at the meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of World Economy and International Relations, IMEMO RAS Academic Council, on the 90th anniversary of the birth of Yevgeny Primakov, the former Prime Minister (1998-1999) and Foreign Minister of Russia, who played a decisive role in designing Russia’s post-Soviet foreign policy, including the formation of the RIC (Russia-India-China) relationship, and the subsequent BRICS. According to the Russkiy Mir Foundation, “Yevgeny Primakov became the author of the concept of multipolarity. His strategic vision allowed him to discern how unviable the unipolar model is.”

Lavrov described Primakov as “an outstanding statesman, diplomat and scientist ... a personality of global dimensions, and his activities were diverse and all-embracing.” He added: “When Mr. Primakov became head of the Foreign Ministry, he quickly and clearly articulated and put into practice conceptual foreign policy principles which Russian diplomacy continues to rely on today.”

Lavrov emphasized that Primakov was “a consistent opponent of archaic ‘zero sum’ games,” and drew special attention to his expertise and approach on the Middle East, which is particularly relevant today:

“Mr. Primakov played a special role in Middle Eastern affairs, which he knew inside and out. He understood better than others the dangers of geopolitical engineering and democratizing this region without due respect for its peculiarities. Regrettably, the West failed to listen to his knowledgeable opinion. Those who went into Iraq, Libya and Syria were like a bull in a china shop. We see the results of their activities today: destroyed statehood, outbursts of terrorism, erosion of the ethnic and religious mosaic and a large-scale migration crisis. The consequences of the ventures by the United States and its allies will still have to be overcome. As you know, this is what we are doing by primarily facilitating the eradication of terrorism in Syria and promoting the resolution of humanitarian issues, the return of refugees and the launching of the political process.”

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