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MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. A senior legislator praised Russia’s pick for its new UN ambassador on Thursday, saying he will be a worthy successor to fill the shoes of Vitaly Churkin who passed away suddenly in February.
"This was the right choice. Vitaly Nebenzya certainly works as professionally as his predecessor, a great diplomat worked, and will adhere to the high standards set forth by him," said Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma’s international affairs committee.
"No doubt that Vassily Alekseyevich (Nebenzya) will manage to competently continue the constructive and professional policy of Vitaly Churkin, aimed at convincing partners in the UN Security Council of the integrity and honesty of our approaches," Slutsky added.
He wished the new UN ambassador success at his post, stressing that it will be a tall order, as Russia has a lot of opponents, even in the UN Security Council, on major issues on the international agenda.
On Thursday, July 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Nebenzya as Russia’s permanent representative to the UN. The decree was posted on the Kremlin website.
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. Ambassador Churkin died while on duty.
On May 25, Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs upheld Nebenzya’s appointment as Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Vasily Nebenzya, 55, has occupied various positions in the Foreign Ministry in Russia and overseas, he speaks English and Spanish.
Nebenzya used to head the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Humanitarian Cooperation and Human Rights. From 1996 to 2000, he had served as senior adviser at the Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations. In 2006-2012, he had served as Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva.