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UNITED NATIONS, February 20. /TASS/. US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley has offered her condolences over the passing of her Russian colleague, Vitaly Churkin, and praised him for his "great skill" in advocating his country’s positions.
"In my short time at the United Nations, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin showed himself to be a gracious colleague. We did not always see things the same way, but he unquestionably advocated his country's positions with great skill. We send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to lift up his family and to the Russian people," she said in a written statement.
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations 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. "We offer sincere condolences to the family of Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin," the ministry said.
В ООН минутой молчания почтили память Посла России при ООН Виталия Чуркина, скоропостижно скончавшегося на 65-м году жизни pic.twitter.com/Xr3Iv7oPBB— ООН (@UnitedNationsRU) 20 February 2017
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.