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UNITED NATIONS, February 23. /TASS/. More than 300 Russian and foreign diplomats bid farewell in New York to Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s diplomatic mission said on its official Twitter account.
"Today over three hundred of Russian and Foreign diplomats paid the last tribute to Ambassador #Churkin during a memorial service in NY," the mission wrote.
The ceremony was attended by Churkin’s widow Irina and his son Maxim, Russia’s Ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak, US and Kazakh Permanent Ambassadors to the UN Nikki Haley and Kairat Umarov, Russian Deputy Permanent Ambassadors to the UN Pyotr Ilyichev and Vladimir Safronkov, and also UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The UN chief said "ambassador Churkin was a uniquely skilled diplomat" and "a man of many talents and interests."
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. On Tuesday, the UN Security Council observed a minute of silence for Churkin, and the General Assembly will hold a special meeting in the coming days to pay tribute to him.
The final farewell ceremony for Churkin will take place in Moscow on February 24, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier said.