The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin, died in New York on 20 February 2017. Following is the statement by Ambassador Bogyay on the occasion of his sudden death.

Ambassador Churkin was not only a magician of diplomacy, full of knowledge and understanding, but a man with passion, big heart, great intelligence, elegance, lover of art and beauty, a brilliant raconteur with a great sense of humor. His energy was able to move mountains. He was one of the key witnesses and active players of modern times.

And before anything he was a gentle and loving family man and friend.

My deep sympathy and condolences go to his wife, Irina, his children: Anastasia, Maksim and to his country.

He left his sign behind.

The UN family will mourn and remember him.