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BEIJING, February 22. /TASS/. Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin’s death is a great, irreparable loss to the Russian and global diplomacy, Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Rashid Alimov said in a message to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
"I was sad to learn about the sudden death of Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin. It is a great, irreparable loss to the Russian and global diplomacy," the message reads.
"Vitaly Churkin was indeed a wonderful person, an extraordinary diplomat and a prominent statesman who had dedicated his whole life to advancing Russia’s interests on international level. He set a significant example of an utter devotion to the homeland," Alimov wrote.
"We will always remember Vitaly Churkin fondly, recall our meetings and conversations at the UN New York Office and the attention that he paid to boosting ties between the UN and the SCO, aimed at maintaining global peace and stability," the SCO secretary general added.
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. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the ambassador died while on duty.