Dedicated to the 90th birthday anniversary of Yevgeny Primakov

29 October 2019

On October 29, 2019 outstanding Russian politician, diplomat, scientist, and member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yevgeny Primakov would have turned 90.

President Vladimir Putin called Yevgeny Primakov a great citizen of Russia.

The memory of Yevgeny Primakov is treasured and his heritage is carefully preserved at the Gorchakov Fund. The Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO RAS) and the Primakov Center for Foreign Policy Cooperation in partnership with the Gorchakov Fund have organized youth sessions under the auspices of the Primakov Readings International Forum.

Young scientists – winners of the contest among post-graduate students and employees of higher educational institutions and think tanks, non-governmental and non-profit organizations, and independent experts specializing in world economy, political science, international relations, international law, global security, sociology and demographics as well as modern and contemporary history – have become participants of the discussion about global problems of our times.

Yevgeny Primakov was always interested in the projects of the Gorchakov Fund; he was an active member of the Board of Trustees; and he met with participants of research and educational programs and press tours organized by the Fund.

Today Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the multimillion audience of Vremya news show on Channel One about the contribution made by Yevgeny Primakov into the foreign policy:

“We have been often accused recently of turning away from the West and towards the East. Yevgeny Primakov was appointed foreign minister after we had turned away from everyone excluding the West in the first half of the 1990s. Moreover, we looked upon the West as petitioners asking it to give us a place in the world that was presented as the triumph of liberal democracy and the end of history. According to Francis Fukuyama, the end of history meant that the Western world, or the collective West, has no and cannot have any rivals. Yevgeny Primakov assumed office at a time when our relations with nearly all other countries were chilled. He had to act in constrained conditions marked exclusively by pro-Western inertia. As a visionary, he knew that a policy can only be sustainable if it takes modern day realities into account. He predicted the realities of a multipolar world with new centres of economic growth, financial might and, consequently, political influence.

These centres have appeared. A multipolar world has become an objective reality that is taking shape right before our very own eyes. This historical process will take a long time, but Yevgeny Primakov foretold it at a time when the rise of this reality was not at all obvious to many others. He started implementing this idea by proposing cooperation within the Russia-India-China (RIC) triangle. This format was created and is still effective up to this day. This year, the RIC foreign ministers held their 16th meeting.

RIC was the forerunner of a more advanced and novel format, BRICS. When five countries from different continents promote common approaches to the global economy and politics, it is the embodiment of multipolarity and multipolar diplomacy. This alone has added Primakov’s name to global history. Moreover, the foreign policy principles he formulated alongside the concept of multipolarity have since then constituted the basis of Russia’s foreign policy concept, including its autumn 2016 edition. These principles imply, first of all, the defence of national interests without resorting to confrontation; pragmatism; and a multidirectional policy, which suggests readiness to cooperate with any country around the world if there is reciprocal willingness based on mutual respect, equality and a balance of interests. These are seemingly simple things, but they really do work. If we rely on these principles, we will attain the result that meets the interests of your state, your country and your nation.”

According to Sergey Lavrov, a series of events dedicated to the birthday anniversary of Yevgeny Primakov were coming to an end. A culmination of that celebration would be an opening of the monument in a park across the street from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.