Russia’s UN Ambassador dies suddenly

United Nations: Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin today died all of a sudden while working in his office, a day before he would have turned 65.

The Russian Permanent Mission in a statement that Churkin was in his office fulfilling his duties when the tragedy occurred in the afternoon of February 20.

“For the Mission s staff and for all who had a chance to work under the able leadership of this outstanding, energetic and respectable diplomat, it was a terrible shock. It is impossible to realise that Ambassador is no longer with us. We mourn together with his family and his beloved ones,” the statement said.

Churkin would have turned 65 today.

The Russian mission said Churkin dedicated most of his life to diplomatic service standing for his country’s interests more than 40 years in total, of which 20 years he worked as Ambassador to Belgium, Canada. He had been the Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN since 2006.

UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson said in a statement he was “greatly saddened” at the news of the passing of “dear friend” Churkin.

“The Russian Federation and the United Nations have lost a true son and a great international intellect,” he said.