MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has expressed his condolences on the passing of Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, during a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"In a telephone conversation, Guterres offered Lavrov his deep condolences on the death of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin, offering words of support to the diplomat’s family and friends, the Russian government and people," the ministry noted.
"Guterres stressed that Churkin was an outstanding professional, a brilliant speaker, a person who had versatile talents and interests and noted Churkin’s huge contribution to the UN’s work," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Vitaly Churkin died in New York on Monday, a day before his 65th birthday. He served as Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations since April 8, 2006. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to posthumously award the Order of Courage to Churkin.