Moscow bids farewell to Yevgeny Primakov

The lying-in-state ceremony for Yevgeny Primakov is taking place at the Column Hall of the House of Unions in Moscow.

Russian politicians, scientists and public figures are arriving for the ceremony.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has come to the Column Hall; he has laid flowers on the coffin of the politician and spoken with the family and friends of Primakov.

Russian Presidential Administration head Sergei Ivanov has bade farewell to former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov too, an Interfax correspondent has reported.

"I will not be recounting his achievements for long, he had plenty of them. All I can say is that I was a living witness to how Yevgeny Maximovich saved our intelligence [service] from a breakdown and various kinds of reckless reforms," Ivanov told reporters.

"As to what he achieved in the capacity of foreign minister and prime minister, I think everyone is well aware of that and Russians will never forget about it," the head of the Kremlin administration said.

He also pointed to the human qualities of Primakov.

Ivanov said that Primakov achieved a lot even in the Soviet period. "But I have absolutely no doubt that even during the Russian period he contributed a lot to the development of our statehood, our foreign and, in a later period, domestic policy along the tracks he deemed right," the head of the Presidential Administration said.

Primakov died of a protracted disease on June 26. The lying-in-state ceremony is taking place at the Column Hall of the House of Unions on Monday. Primakov will be buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery.

Read more: Former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov dies at 85

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