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MOSCOW, June 26. /TASS/. Russian ex-Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov made an invaluable contribution to the development of the foundations and principles of Russia’s foreign policy, which remain relevant today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday in a video address in connection with Primakov’s death at the age of 85.
"Yevgeny Primakov has passed away… It’s very hard to find words, but the size of his personality — a great man, state figure, politician, scientist, journalist, publicist — can’t but be noted," Lavrov said. "Whatever he took up, no matter where he was, he was the best, he was the first everywhere. We will very much miss him."
"We remember with warmth the time when he led the Russian Foreign Ministry," the top Russian diplomat said. "He made an invaluable contribution to the development of the foundations of our foreign policy, principles that retain their urgency today in full too."
"First of all, it’s Russia’s independent policy in defending its national interests, the readiness and openness for the broadest, closest cooperation with everyone who is ready to interact with our country on an equal mutually beneficial basis," Lavrov said.
He said Primakov was without exaggeration the author of Russia’s foreign policy course in the Middle East and "made a huge contribution to the development of the foundations of modern global science about this key region of the world."
"He paid huge attention to our policy in the Commonwealth of Independent States, perfectly aware of the inseparable connection between our peoples," Lavrov said.
"He addressed these and other issues with a huge sense of responsibility for what is going on. He valued friendship above anything else, always remembered his friends, came to their rescue, while his ability to combine colossal matters of global significance with attention to people around him, to his family and companions — it is, in my view, legendary," he said.
Lavrov noted that it was Primakov who "formulated the principle of multipolarity that is proving today it has no alternative."
"He made this conclusion at a time when, it seemed, the epoch of unipolarity came, and history ended and everything in the world would be moving in one direction," he said. "Today his fundamental conclusion on a lack of alternative to multipolarity battles through life and is already perceived as an objective reality by all who are sincerely interested in stability of world order."
"I also can’t but note such his quality as love for life, and here it is probably hard to find another such person who would with such joy perceive life in all its manifestations," the Russian foreign minister said in conclusion.
"I was lucky to sit at one table with him, congratulate our mutual friends, mark our common jubilees, sing songs with him in company, recite poetry. He wrote verses, he was an excellent poet. Songs were written to his verses. I was also lucky enough to write verses devoted to Yevgeny Maksimovich," Lavrov said.
"We will miss him very much. We, on behalf of our entire staff, are expressing our most sincere condolences to Irina Borisovna [Primakov’s wife], who was his closest friend and the most reliable aide for many years. We also offer condolences to all near and dear of Yevgeny Maksimovich. Memory eternal to him," he said.