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Russian UN ambassador dies suddenly

NEW YORK—Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, a veteran diplomat known as a potent, savvy yet personable voice for his country’s interests who could both spar and get along with his Western counterparts, died suddenly Monday after falling ill in his office at Russia’s U.N. mission.

Vitaly Churkin was taken to a hospital, where he died a day before his 65th birthday, said Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov. The cause of his death was unknown.

As Russia’s envoy at the United Nations since 2006 and a diplomat for decades, Churkin was considered Moscow’s great champion at the U.N., where he was the longest-serving ambassador on the powerful Security Council.

Russian President Vladimir Putin esteemed Churkin’s “professionalism and diplomatic talents,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the state news agency TASS. Diplomatic colleagues from around the world mourned Churkin as a master in their field: a passionate and effective advocate for his country; an intellectual with a doctorate in history who was also a one-time child actor with an acute wit; a formidable adversary who could remain a friend.

“We did not always see things the same way, but he unquestionably advocated his country’s positions with great skill,” U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement.

-The Star

 

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Posted by on Feb 20 2017. Filed under Africa & World Politics, Headlines, United Nations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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