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160 words - April 24, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
"He was asolutely natural member of our team." This is how Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described on TV channel Russia 1 the former Prime Minister and first Chairman of Gazprom Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin (1938-2010). As the longest serving PM of Russia, Mr. Chernomyrdin was a diplomat with a "capital D" said Mr. Lavrov. "He proved himself an excellent negotiator," with IMF chief Michel Camdessus and "his excellent knowledge on space issues" in discussions with NASA in 1993. Along with ex Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, Mr. Chernomyrdin crafted UNSC 1244 in the wake of the 1999 war between Serbia and NATO over Kosovo. Later, he was appointed Ambassador to Ukraine where the Verkovna Rada, the parliamentary assembly, strongly protested against the attempt by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to designate him as "persona non grata" - at the time the Orange revolution was starting.
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