Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on 26 June on the death of the former Russian Prime and Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov:
With the death of Yevgeny Primakov, Russia has lost a statesman whose strong commitment and expertise greatly influenced Russian foreign policy for many years. Key steps in the cooperation between Russia and the West, which form an important basis for our relations to this very day, were taken while he was in office.
Yevgeny Primakov was always guided by his conviction that Russia had to maintain close relations with its European neighbours. His life’s work reminds us that we have to resume dialogue time and again, especially in difficult times.
I would like to express my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to his family at this difficult time.
Yevgeny Primakov was Russian Foreign Minister from 1996 to 1998. The NATO-Russia Founding Act was signed during his term of office in May 1997. Primakov was Russian Prime Minister in 1998/99.