Viktor Chernomyrdin, Prime Minister of Russia, 1992-1998
Joseph Davidovich Kobzon is one of the legendary denizens of the musical Olympus in our country. Half a century on stage is a tremendous achievement. He has also done a lot for our country and for our song industry. I, therefore, rank Joseph Kobzon among the greatest workers who should command the highest respect.
He will hold his own against any young performer today; he is known everywhere, in our country and far abroad. He is a legendary figure who will have a permanent place in song history. Huge thanks and the highest praise for his artistic endeavours and for providing a role model for the young, which is of enormous importance.