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LONDON, June 26. /TASS/. Economic reforms conducted by the late Yevgeny Primakov helped restore stability in Russia, a spokesman for the British Foreign Office told TASS in connection with the death of the veteran of Russian/Soviet politics.
"We were sad to hear of the death of former Russian Prime Minister and statesman, Yevgeny Primakov," he said. "As Prime Minister from 1998 to 1999, Mr Primakov led a number of economic reforms which helped to restore stability in Russia. As Foreign Minister, he was respected by the international community."
"Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time," the spokesman indicated.
Yevgeny Primakov, who died on June 26 at the age of 85, was a landmark Soviet/Russian statesman, public personality, scholar, and diplomat. Born to a mixed Russian-Jewish family in Kiev on October 19, 1929, he grew up in Tbilisi and graduated from Moscow State University’s Institute of the Orient in 1953.
His extensive career spans years of journalistic activity for Arabic Service of Radio Moscow and for the Communist Party’s main daily Pravda, research and administrative positions at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations reporting to the national Academy of Sciences, and directorship at the Academy’s Institute of Oriental Studies.
In addition to this, he was a member of Mikhail Gorvachev’s Presidential Council and a deputy chairman of the Soviet Peace Committee. In 1991, he took charge of the Soviet (and then Russian) Foreign Intelligence Service.
His next crucial position was that of the Russian Foreign Minister. In August 1998, President Boris Yeltsin appointed him Russia’s Prime Minister — a job that he took up at a critical moment when the Russian government had just defaulted on its short-term sovereign liabilities and the nation had plunged into an economic crisis, the possible aftermaths of which were barely predictable at the time.
Primakov spent the last ten years of his active-duty political and state service as President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industries.