World mourns Russia's ambassador to UN Vitaly Churkin
The UN Security Council issued a press statement on the death of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, Vitaly Churkin.
"The members of the Security Council mourned the Ambassador, who has spent more than 40 years in the Russian diplomatic service, has headed the Russian Mission to the United Nations for more than a decade and would have turned 65 on 21 February 2017," the Security Council press statement says.
Members of the UN Security Council said they were "deeply saddened" to learn of Churkin's death.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, "Ambassador Churkin was a uniquely skilled diplomat, a powerful orator with great wit, and a man of many talents and interests."
"Although we served together for a short time, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with him and will deeply miss his insights, skills and friendship," he said.
Diplomatic colleagues from around the world mourned Churkin as a master in their field, saying he had both a deep knowledge of diplomacy and a large and colorful personality.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was deeply upset to learn of the death of Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"The head of state highly valued Churkin's professionalism and diplomatic talent," Peskov noted, adding that the president expressed condolences to his family and to the Russian Foreign Ministry over Vitaly Churkin’s death.
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the outstanding personal and professional qualities of Churkin.
"He was an outstanding diplomat and an intellectual star … His diplomatic skills, quick wit, and ready sense of humor will long be remembered by those who knew him and by those who will study the history of the United Nations in the years to come," Ban said in a statement Monday.
The UK's ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, described Churkin on Twitter as "a diplomatic giant & wonderful character." “Absolutely devastated to hear that my friend & colleague Vitaly Churkin has died," he said.
Vitaly Churkin who has served as Russia's Permanent Representative to UN since April, 2006, died in New York earlier on Monday.