Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin, aged 72, passed away in Moscow. An outstanding state person, the man who can be rightfully called a founder of Gazprom died.
The biography of Viktor S. Chernomyrdin is a vivid example of a dedicated service to his country. One cannot overestimate his contribution to the Russian gas industry development.
He had begun his professional life in 1960 and as soon as 1973, at the age of 35, he was appointed Director of the Orenburg Gas Processing Plant. When heading the All-Union Industrial Association for Gas Production in the Tyumen Oblast, serving as the Deputy Gas Industry Minister and the Gas Industry Minister, he was highly instrumental in bringing the national gas industry to the leading position in the world not only in terms of numerical aspects, but also in terms of the sci-tech outfit level and the professionals training quality.
In 1989, on Viktor S. Chernomyrdin's initiative, State Gas Concern Gazprom was established under the Gas Industry Ministry he headed at that time. Viktor S. Chernomyrdin was elected the Management Committee Chairman of Gazprom. The company founded by him became a backbone one and played a key role in Russia's overcoming the critical economic and social challenges in the period of historical reform.
Much of Gazprom's current success is owed to Viktor S. Chernomyrdin, his commitment, highest professionalism and self-devotion to his life-work. It was he who created the prerequisites for our company to turn into a leader among global energy businesses, a driving force of the national economy.
While being the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Ukraine, Viktor S. Chernomyrdin made an immense contribution to consolidating the good-neighborly relations and developing the economic cooperation, in the gas sector inclusive, between our countries.
On behalf of the Management Committee and all the employees of OAO Gazprom I personally express the deepest condolences to Viktor S. Chernomyrdin's family and loved ones. His name will always remain in the history of our country and the national oil and gas industry.
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