Yevgeny Primakov said on Monday he was quitting as head of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI).
"I have served two terms. I think this is quite enough," he said.
Primakov, 81, became CCI president in December 2001.
He offered no indication as to who could replace him, adding that the decision would be made at a meeting on March 4.
The Vedomosti daily suggested in December Primakov could be replaced by Mikhail Fradkov, current head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and former prime minister.
Primakov declined to comment on his future.
"I am leaving the ship, but I will not sink," he said.
Primakov held many positions in the Soviet Union and Russia, such as the SVR director (1991-96), foreign minister (1996-98), and prime minister (September 1998 through May 1999), and director of the World Economics and International Relations Institute (1985-1989).
MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti)
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Military exercises are held in order to prevent a war rather than prepare for one. If a potential enemy knows and sees that the Russian Army is constantly improving its skills and adopting state-of-the-art combat equipment and combat support systems he will hardly risk aggression against these Armed Forces and the country they defend.