Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin dies

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UNITED NATIONS, Feb 20 (APP): Russia’s ambassador to the United
Nations Vitaly Churkin died in New York on Monday at the age of 64, just a day before his 65th birthday.
Churkin, rated as one of the outstanding diplomats at the United Nations, was rushed to a Manhattan hospital Monday morning after suffering heart problems, according to informed sources.
The diplomat was at the Russian Mission to the UN when he became sick with a “cardiac condition” around 9:30 a.m. (7:30 PM PST), they said. He was unconscious and needed CPR when he was brought to New York Presbyterian Hospital, but despite doctors’ efforts he could not survive.
The 64-year-old diplomat has served as Russia’s permanent representative to the UN since 2006.
Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Yevgeniy Zagaynov said about Churkin that he kept working “till the very end.”
Expressing sorrow over Churkin’s passing away, Pakistan UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi called him a “great diplomat and colleague”.
“His loss will be felt by the UN family as he was an extraordinary
diplomat who served his country with distinction and worked with his colleagues in a friendly and cooperative way.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres’ Deputy Spokesman
Farhan Haq said that the UN was shocked by the news, extending their condolences to Moscow.
Matthew Rycroft, the British ambassador to the UN, called Churkin’s deah the loss of a “diplomatic giant.”
Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin was a Russian diplomat. Ambassador Churkin
served as Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations since 2006. Before that, he was Ambassador at Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (2003-2006), Ambassador to Canada (1998-2003), Ambassador to Belgium and Liaison Ambassador to NATO and WEU (1994-1998), Deputy Foreign Minister and Special
Representative of the President of the Russian Federation to the talks on Former Yugoslavia (1992-1994), Director of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR/Russian Federation (1990-1992).
Vitaly Churkin held a Ph.D. in history and was a graduate of the Moscow
State Institute of International Relations.