“He was an extraordinary diplomat and a remarkable man” “was a kind of phenomenon”, “master of diplomacy”. Diplomats and politicians are shocked at the sudden death of the Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin. Even those with whom he fiercely argued in the hall of the security Council, its Western opponents now admit that “devastated” and that he was a “friend”.
On Monday in new York, died suddenly, Russia’s permanent representative in the UN security Council Vitaly Churkin. “The outstanding Russian diplomat passed away at the working post,” – said the Russian foreign Ministry.
“At a meeting of the Board of the Ministry, I said that each Embassy must have your Churkin. Vitaly was a kind of phenomenon.”
Former Deputy Secretary General of the UN Sergei Ordzhonikidze called the cause of sudden death – heart failure. “The tension, permanent hard work. In stressful situations people were”, – he noted. The New York Post also writes that Churkin died because of heart problems. According to the newspaper, Churkin was the building of the Russian Embassy, when about 09.30 local time, he had pain in the heart. He was taken to new York Presbyterian hospital in an unconscious state, but to save him failed.
Deputy Churkin, Pyotr Ilyich said that he stayed at his workplace until the last moment, he whole life was devoted to the protection of the interests of Russia, was on the front lines and on the busiest posts. “Gone from the life of a prominent diplomat, a wonderful man, teacher”. “And that’s what he will remain forever in our memory”, – quotes the words Ilyichev, RIA “Novosti”.
Condolences to the family Churkin, as well as the staff of the foreign Affairs Ministry said President Vladimir Putin. As reported the press Secretary of the head of state, Dmitry Peskov, Putin highly appreciated the professionalism and diplomatic skill Churkin, learned of his death with regret. Foreign Ministry officials also expressed deep condolences to the families of Churkin. “The great diplomat. Extraordinary personality. Bright people. We lost a loved one”, – wrote the representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova on his page in social network “Facebook”.
“He walked rapidly up”
One of the forerunners of post Churkin on UN – ex-permanent representative of the USSR to the UN and the UN security Council and former Deputy foreign Minister of the USSR Alexander Belonogov – admitted the newspaper VIEW: he is deeply shocked – as, apparently, most Russian diplomats.
“I remember Vitaly Ivanovich 1980-ies. In those years, I worked as the permanent representative of the USSR to the UN, Churkin worked in our Embassy press Secretary. Deeply impressed me is how freely and easily he spoke on American television. To Churkin, it was not accepted. He was a pioneer in this field. He became the first ever press Secretary of the Soviet Embassy, extremely popular in the American media,” – says the diplomat.
“Later in Moscow, when I worked as a Deputy foreign Minister, at a meeting of the Board of the Ministry, I said that each Embassy must have your Churkin. Vitaly was a kind of phenomenon. He perfectly fit into the whole in the work of the Ministry of foreign Affairs, quickly went up”, – he added.
Belonogov recalls how later Churkin succeeded him as Ambassador in Canada. “Then, when he was transferred to new York as Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, I am not that surprised,” – said the diplomat: so he was there in his place. “This is a very complex and demanding, I would say, “neotropica” work. The UN is a place where the Ambassador of our country is under constant siege from journalists. I have experienced this myself. Within 10 years Vitaly adequately represented in the UN our country”, – he explained. Belonogov recognizes that could not fail to admire the personality and professional qualities Churkin and was deeply saddened about his untimely demise.
“This is a very big loss. Churkin was an outstanding diplomat and a wonderful person who effectively represented Russia in the UN, – said the newspaper VIEW, the former Soviet dissident, now – President of the Center for national interest in Washington Dimitri Simes. – He knew how to be tough and hard, creating the impression of a diplomat, ready to indulge in polemics, but he always shared the work and emotions. Had a good working relationship with the UN representatives, with whom it was possible to work. Again, this is a great loss for all who knew him, Russian diplomacy and the UN”.
Vitaly Churkin was definitely one of the most powerful diplomats of Russia, told REN TV Federation Council member Alexei Pushkov. “We were proud of him when I saw his speech in the UN security Council, when they saw him straining not to attack our enemies, who attempted to create a United front against Russia in the UN. It saw the whole country. Bless him, he will remain forever on the first positions in the history of Russian diplomacy”, – said Pushkov.
Saddened with the demise of Vitaly Churkin and the first President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev: “I knew him as a rather sober person, a great diplomat, politician and of the Russians”, – quotes its Newsru.com.
Even hot opponent Churkin, which of a quarrel with his Russian counterpart was in front of the press, Samantha Power wrote in his Twitter: “Devastated by the departure from life of the Russian Ambassador to UN Vitaly Churkin. Master of diplomacy and a very caring man who did everything he could to overcome the differences between the US and Russia.” Another of his former opponent – former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul called Churkina one of the most talented Russian diplomats.
On the death of the Ambassador was announced at the UN meeting. The representative of the UN Secretary General Farhan Haq said that he was shocked, and expressed condolences to the family of a diplomat and the Russian government. In turn, the UK’s permanent representative to the UN Matthew Rycroft called Churkin diplomatic giant and a wonderful man. “Absolutely devastated by the news of the death of my friend and colleague Vitaly Churkin. (…) Rest in peace”, – he wrote in Twitter.
Went the day before my birthday
February 21, Vitaly Churkin, would be 65 years. He was born in 1952 in Moscow. At the age of 13 starred in the movie – the first film novels about Lenin “mother’s Heart” directed by Mark Donskoy, even earlier – in the movies “the Blue notebook” (1963) and “Zero three” (1964).
In 1974 Churkin graduated from MGIMO, in the same year began his career as a diplomat. In 1989-1990, he was the press Secretary to the Minister of foreign Affairs of the USSR, 1990-1991 – head of the information Department of the foreign Ministry.
In 1992 was appointed Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia, a position he served until 1994. In the post of Deputy foreign Minister Churkin for the first time in the history of Russian and Soviet diplomacy began to hold regular public briefings for foreign journalists, during which he good English answered the questions of Western journalists.
In 1994-1998 was the Ambassador of Russia in Belgium and the permanent representative of Russia to NATO. In 1998-2003, the Russian Ambassador to Canada. From June 2003 to April 2006 – Ambassador at large of MFA of Russia. Churkin held the position of Russia’s permanent representative to the UN on 8 April 2008. During the work of the UN, he firmly defended the position of Russia, repeatedly used its veto right.
Candidate of historical Sciences. Bilingual in English, Mongolian and French. Vitaly Churkin was married, he had a son and a daughter.