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MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, offered his deepest condolences over the sudden death of Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
“On behalf of the US leadership, the Secretary expressed his deep condolences on the unexpected death of Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who was well known to many Americans,” the ministry’s statement reads.
The two top diplomats also discussed current issues of the international and bilateral agendas. The conversation was initiated by the American side.
Vitaly Churkin died in New York on February 20, a day before his 65th birthday. He had been Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations since April 8, 2006. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the diplomat died while on duty. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a decree to posthumously award the Order of Courage to him.