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MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin spoke out in favor of peace, democracy and human values in his bold and fair statements, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
"His firm and confident voice, bold and fair statements advocated peace, democracy and human values," Medvedev said in a telegram of condolence on Churkin’s death. "He served these ideals throughout his life until the very last minute."
"This is a great loss not only for his family and friends and all those who worked or were just familiar with such a strong and extraordinary personality," Medvedev emphasized. "This is a loss for Russia." The prime minister noted that Churkin was an outstanding diplomat who uncompromisingly defended the interests of our state even in the most difficult situations." "For him, the work of the Russian ambassador to the UN was not just a job. It was service to our country," he added.
Vitaly Churkin died in New York on Monday, a day before his 65th birthday. The Russian Foreign Ministry said he had died while performing his duties.
Churkin was born in Moscow on February 21, 1952, into the family of an aviation design engineer. He served as Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations since April 8, 2006.