President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a condolence message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, following the sudden demise of Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations.
Ambassador Churkin passed away on Mondayone day before his 65th birthday. The diplomat is said to have suffered a cardiac arrest while at the Russian Mission on East 67th Street, New York, and was taken to New York’s Presbyterian Hospital, where he died.
Ambassador Churkin, who held a Ph.D in History, served as Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2006.
According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry release, President Sirleaf, in her message to Mr. Putin, said, “This is a colossal loss not only to Russia but also to the international community, particularly the United Nations Security Council, where Ambassador Churkin was an outstanding figure and very revered by his colleagues.”
President Sirleaf said that Ambassador Churkin’s tenacity and commitment to duty which distinguished him in the field of diplomacy, will inspire many others.
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Government and people of Russia, especially his family, including his widow, Madam Irina Churkina, his son Maksim and daughter Anastasia,” President Sirleaf’s message stated.