Speaking at the Primakov Readings International Forum in Moscow, Matvienko stressed that it was former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov who made it clear for the western countries that Russia would pursue an independent foreign policy, setting a “red line, not allowed to be crossed by anyone.”
“Of course, not everyone likes it. That is why there is a political pressure, economic sanctions, a massive information campaign against Russia, attempts to isolate our country at the international arena. And today we can confidently say that these attempts have definitely failed,” Matvienko said.
Yevgeny Primakov served as Russian Prime Minister during the turbulent 1998-1999 period when a deep financial crisis and its resultant political fallout devastated the Russian economy. He was credited with restoring political and financial stability in the country. Primakov also served as Foreign Minister for two years prior to leading the cabinet under then-President Boris Yeltsin.
In the Soviet era, Primakov worked for USSR media organizations in the Middle East, later becoming Russia’s envoy to Iraq during the historic 1990 Gulf War between the US-led coalition and Baghdad.
On June 26, 2015, Primakov died at the age of 85.
The first Primakov Readings to commemorate the outstanding politician took place in Moscow in 2015. This year the conference is held on November 28-30, and it is attended by many high-ranking Russian officials, Russian and foreign economists, diplomats and public figures.