MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin, who suddenly passed away on Monday in New York, was a highly qualified professional and extraordinary person, possessing great sense of humor, Italy's Ambassador to Russia Cesare Maria Ragaglini told Sputnik Tuesday.
"He [Churkin] was a wonderful ambassador, in best tradition of the Russian diplomatic school, and an extraordinary person … He was fully aware of all important issues and possessed wonderful sense of humor," Ragaglini said, adding that Churkin was always available and ready to provide assistance.
Shaking hands with Churkin was worth "more than any document," Ragaglini stressed.
Churkin had served as Russia's permanent representative to the UN and the Russian representative in the UN Security Council from April 2006. The diplomat would have turned 65 on Tuesday, February 21.