Primakov Readings

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The International Primakov Readings Forum took place November 29-30, 2016, in commemoration of Yevgeny Primakov. The meeting was organized by the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO led by Alexander Dynkin) and was backed by the World Trade Center, the Russian Science Foundation, the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, and the University of Pennsylvania. In his address to the Forum, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin argued that Primakov had succeeded in predicting the events unfolding in today’s world, especially in the Middle East. As the Head of State put it, “Actually, I was always taking heed of Primakov’s assessments, as he was a wise and astute diplomat. I trusted him and asked to accomplish responsible and sensitive missions rather than ordered him”. Besides, the Primakov Readings Conference brought together Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Chair of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, and President’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov who delivered an opening speech. The Forum was also attended by most leading experts on international relations. The Rethinking Russia Think Tank presents the comment of Tatyana Alekseeva, a participant of the Primakov Readings Forum.

Primakov as a Politician, Diplomat and Scholar

Tatyana Alekseeva

Professor, Distinguished Scholar of the Russian Federation. She was awarded the Badge for Distinction of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for being a long-time, conscientious and dedicated employee.

Unfortunately, 18 months have already elapsed since Yevgeny Primakov passed away. The second annual Primakov Readings, which commemorate the outstanding statesman and scholar, were held in Moscow. I suppose that it is next to impossible to find anyone who will not remember Primakov or pay tribute to him as his contribution to science in general and to the theory of international relations in particular as well as his input to diplomacy, intelligence and the development of interstate relations cannot be overestimated.

Primakov was a true scholar, full-fledged and experienced who conducted in-depth comprehensive scientific research, and made a series of important discoveries in such a challenging realm as the theory of international relations. In particular, the Primakov research team pioneered the technique of situational analysis, whose effectiveness has but once been proved by IMEMO and the Institute of Oriental Studies (both institutes were long directed by Primakov), as well as by other research centers. It allowed one to predict the major trends of the vital international processes. This technique served as a reliable tool which Soviet and Russian experts in international relations have exploited. In addition, Primakov was the prime mover in the creation of the Department of Global Issues and International Relations integrated into the RAS[1].

As for me, I consider myself lucky because I joined IMEMO when Yevgeny Maksimovich supervised the International Department. As a matter of course, it was impossible for me at that time to collaborate with him on a full scale. However, the atmosphere he created, his leadership style, and the way he treated young experts – it was his forte – influenced me a lot and helped me to become an accomplished expert in international relations and political theory.

[1] Russian Academy of Science

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