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MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Russia and the entire world diplomacy will remember Vitaly Churkin as an outstanding diplomat, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said before a meeting with his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom on Tuesday.
"Churkin is an outstanding diplomat who died suddenly in his working post at Russia’s permanent mission at the UN in New York," Lavrov said.
"We’ll remember him as such and the world diplomacy will remember him as such," Russia’s top diplomat said.
Addressing his Swedish counterpart later, Lavrov said: "you worked with him in various capacities, including as the UN secretary’s special representative."
"The continuation of the work on creating the fundamentals of a calmer, safer and democratic world will be the best manifestation of the memory about our comrade," Lavrov stressed.
According to the Russian foreign minister, it is important to have "the skill to firmly safeguard the interests of one’s country while avoiding falling into unrestrained confrontation and to look for the possibilities to unite efforts based on the balance of interests - this is the diplomat’s main quality."
The Russian foreign minister and his Swedish counterpart laid flowers at the portrait of Russia’s deceased UN envoy. His photo was displayed at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s reception house in Moscow.
Vitaly Churkin died on February 20, a day before his 65th birthday. He had been Russia’s UN ambassador since April 8, 2006, representing the country in the United Nations Security Council.
Churkin was born in Moscow on February 21, 1952 into the family of an aviation design engineer. He has been Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations since April 8, 2006.