The message reads:
“Viktor Chernomyrdin, an outstanding statesman, talented person, and true patriot, has left us. It would be difficult to overestimate his contribution to building modern Russia and developing our economy and democratic institutions.
His great professional knowledge and management experience and skill proved essential throughout a varied and complex career that gave him great responsibilities at every stage. He was always devoted to his work and cause.
Everyone who knew Mr Chernomyrdin valued him for his unique personality and respected him for his firm and decisive nature, his openness and love of life.
His passing is an irreplaceable loss for his family and friends, and for all of Russian society.”
Mr Chernomyrdin was Russia’s prime minister from 1992 to 1998, chairman of the Gazprom board of directors in 1999–2000, and Russian ambassador to Ukraine in 2001–2009.
Dmitry Medvedev signed a presidential order to organise Mr Chernomyrdin’s funeral, setting up a state commission to organise the event and giving the relevant instructions to the Moscow authorities, the national broadcasting company, and the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Viktor Chernomyrdin, presidential adviser and special presidential representative on economic cooperation with members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, died today at the age of 72.