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Russian ambassador to UN dies in New York

Posted: 21 February, 2017 at 07:00 am
Russian ambassador to UN dies in New York
Russian Ambassador To UN Dies In New York Photo 1

Vitaly Churkin, who served as Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations since 2006, “died suddenly” in New York, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced.

The announcement “of the untimely passing away of Ambassador Vitaly Churkin this morning” was met with shock when it was delivered during a session at the UN headquarters.

“He was a dear colleague of all of us, a deeply committed diplomat of his country and one of the finest people we have known,” a UN official who delivered the news to her colleagues said.

The former would have turned 65 on Tuesday.

The moment of silence in Churkin's memory was announced at the UN.

“He was an outstanding person. He was brilliant, bright, a great diplomat of our age,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told RT, adding that the news of Churkin's death was “completely shocking.”

Before he was appointed to represent Russia at the UN in May 2006, the diplomat served as ambassador to Belgium, ambassador to Canada, and liaison ambassador to NATO and the Western European Union (WEU).

In the 2000s he was ambassador at large at Russia's Foreign Ministry, while in the early 1990s he served as the special representative of the Russian president to the talks on the former Yugoslavia.

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