The 2013 Russian Federation National Award for outstanding achievements in humanitarian work has been conferred to Yevgeny Primakov, a prominent statesman and public figure
Yevgeny Primakov was born on October 29, 1929, in Kiev and spent his childhood and youth in Tbilisi. He is a prominent political figure and statesman, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a world-renowned scholar of Oriental studies, and also a major specialist in the global economy and international relations, including comprehensive analysis and policy development of Russian foreign policy, international conflicts and crises, and global issues. Mr Primakov is a laureate of the USSR State Prize and has received prestigious national awards and titles from Russia and other countries.
Mr Primakov graduated from the Arab studies department of the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies in 1953, and completed his graduate studies at Moscow State University in 1956. He holds a D.Sc. in economics and is a professor.
In 1956–1962 he worked at USSR State Television and Radio. In 1966–1970 he was Pravda newspaper’s correspondent in the Middle East. From 1970 to 1977 he was deputy director, and from 1985 to 1989 was director of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. From 1977 to 1985 he was director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
In 1989, Mr Primakov became a member of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee, candidate member of the Politburo, member of the USSR Supreme Soviet, and people’s deputy of the USSR. In 1989–1990, he was chairman of the Supreme Soviet’s Union Council, and a member of the USSR Presidential Council. In 1991–1996, he was head of the USSR KGB’s First Chief Directorate and then director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service. In 1996–1998 he was Russian Foreign Minister. In 1998–1999, he was Prime Minister of Russia. In 1999–2001, he was a deputy in the State Duma and chairman of the Fatherland-All Russia Duma faction. From 2001 to 2011, he was president of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mr Primakov is currently a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ board, a member of the board of the Presidential Council for Science and Education, a member of the Bureau of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Department for Global Issues and International Relations, president of the Mercury Club discussion club, chairman of the board of directors of OJSC RTI (a company involved in providing comprehensive communications and security solutions), chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Council for International Affairs, and honorary president of the Russian Society of Political Scientists.
In March 1999, hearing the news that NATO had begun bombing Yugoslavia, Mr Primakov, who was on his way to the United States on an official visit, cancelled his plans and ordered his plane to turn around in what became known as “the loop over the Atlantic”. In 2000, he was named head of a commission on a peace settlement in the Trans-Dniester conflict.
Mr Primakov has received state awards from the Soviet Union, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Austria, Switzerland, Chile, Trans-Dniester, and other countries.
He received the Nasser Prize (1974), the USSR State Prize (1980), the Avicenna Prize (1983), the George F. Kennan Prize (1990), the Hugo Grotius Prize (2000), the Prize of the International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Peoples (2004), the Alexander Nevsky Prize (2009), the Demidov Prize (2012) and others.
Mr Primakov has written a number of books and monographs, including Anatomy of the Middle East Conflict (1978), The East After the Collapse of the Colonial System (1982), History of a Plot: US Middle East Policy in the 1970s and early 1980s (1985), The War that needn’t have happened (1991), My Years in Big-time Politics (1999), Eight Months Plus… (2001), The World after September 11 and the Invasion of Iraq (2003), Meetings at the Crossroads (2004), Confidential: the Middle East on Stage and Behind the Scenes (2006), The Minefield of Politics (2007), A World Without Russia? The Consequences of Political Short-sightedness (2009), Thinking Aloud (2011), and a new and updated edition of Confidential: the Middle East on Stage and Behind the Scenes (2012). Mr Primakov’s books have been published abroad in Chinese, Italian, English, Bulgarian, Farsi, Arabic, German, Japanese, Greek, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian and French.
Mr Primakov was closely involved in the development and study of situational analysis, a new area in international relations, which, by combining analytical work with direct translation into policy, makes it possible to forecast and pre-empt the emergence of various military, political and economic developments, including during flare-ups in international conflicts in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. He is actively involved in the international Pugwash movement of scientists for peace, disarmament and international security, the prevention of global thermonuclear war and scientific cooperation.
During the Soviet-US Dartmouth Conference, Mr Primakov worked on resolving political and economic tasks and settling regional conflicts.
Mr Primakov’s name is closely linked in modern Russia to the development of relations with the West. Based on the Helsinki Declarations, in 1997, legal agreements were signed on reducing and limiting strategic offensive weapons and missile defence. This paved the way to ratifying the START II Treaty and beginning talks on deeper cuts to strategic offensive weapons within the START III framework. Mr Primakov was also instrumental in paving the way to the approval of the founding act on mutual relations, cooperation and security between Russia and NATO and setting up the Russia-NATO Permanent Council.
Mr Primakov played an active part in Russia’s efforts to settle conflicts in Tajikistan, Moldova and Georgia.
Overall, Mr Primakov has made a major contribution to developing the doctrine of a multipolar world and shaping Russia’s multi-vector foreign policy.