Gennady M. Evstafiev (25.08.1938 – 19.02.2013) was an outstanding Soviet and Russian intelligence officer and diplomat, Lieutenant General of the Russian Foreign Service, former senior Vice-President of PIR Center. He began his service in the 14th Department of the First Main Directorate of the KGB of the USSR, specializing in Asian countries – Pakistan, India, Japan. In 1981-1985 he worked as a special assistant to the UN Secretary General, and in 1999-2000. He was a member of the Disarmament Commission under the UN Secretary General.
From 1986 to 1991 Gennady Mikhailovich was part of the leadership of the Soviet delegation at the negotiations on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) In Vienna, he worked for a long time in the system of the Foreign Intelligence Service, from 2000 to 2003 he was part of the Russian mission to NATO, where he dealt with counter-terrorism and WMD non-proliferation. After retiring in 2003, he was a senior adviser to PIR Center.
Gennady Mikhailovich played a key role in preparing the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service’s public reports “A New Challenge After the Cold War: Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” (1993) and “The Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons: Problems of Extension” (1995), which are still used today as key reference materials in the field. To this day, the publication of these reports remains an example of special services’ analytic work and ability to engage the public in dialogue. Thanks to the work of these authors, the world saw that Russia bases its arguments on facts and, no matter the circumstances, independently participates in the formation of a global nonproliferation and disarmament agenda.
General Evstafiev belongs to those people who, during the most difficult period for our country, not only remained devoted to their work, but also were able to develop approaches to solving international security problems in the spirit of cooperation and protection of national interests. Strengthening the nonproliferation and disarmament regime was not political slogans for Gennady Mikhailovich Evstafiev, but the subject of in-depth analysis in order to find optimal, balanced solutions.
Long before the loud speeches and initiatives at a time when people almost stopped thinking about ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction, in the program article “Disarmament is coming Back” (Security Index, 2007, No. 2) Gennady Mikhailovich Evstafiev not only stated the acute urgency of this problem, he outlined the lines along which the discussion is being built today. “The main mistake of people is that they are more afraid of today’s troubles than of tomorrow’s troubles,” Gennady Mikhailovich quoted the classic and stressed, “this means only one thing: we must learn to anticipate the consequences of the emergence of new dangerous military technologies and classes of weapons through timely political and legal steps.”
“Carl von Clausewitz once wrote that ‘the greatest mistake people make is fearing the troubles of today more than those of tomorrow.” This means but one thing: we must learn to pre-empt threats emanating form emerging military technologies and new types of weapons through timely political and legal measures. Otherwise we might find ourselves once again spiraling into long and exhausting arms race and severe crises and conflicts.” — Lieutenant-General Gennady Evstafiev
Gennady Mikhailovich Evstafiev will always be remembered by dozens of his followers – young diplomats, officers, scientists – those for whom he became a wise mentor and an example of a man who lived a decent life.