16:43 GMT28 May 2020
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    Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic posthumously awarded the Order of the Serbian Flag of the First Degree to Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin for his assistance to Serbia in the United Nations.

    BELGRADE (Sputnik) — "We had sincere and unconditional support of the Russian Federation and, especially of the passed Ambassador Churkin, who helped us a lot, on the resolution on Srebrenica. He [Churkin] will remain in our memory, like a Russian, who vetoed a UN Security Council resolution, which did not refer to Russia… Today I has posthumously awarded the Order of the Serbian Flag of the First Degree to Ambassador Churkin," Nikolic was quoted as saying by the state media.

    The Serbian president pointed out that as long as Belgrade had such friends in the United Nations, there was no need to worry about Kosovo's independence recognition or adoption of a resolution against Serbia.

    In 2015, Russia blocked a UN Security Council draft resolution on Srebrenica, recognizing the 1995 events, when about 8,000 Muslims had been killed by the Bosnian Serb army led by General Ratko Mladic, as genocide. The draft resolution was supported by ten countries, while China, Angola, Nigeria and Venezuela abstained. According to Churkin, the adoption of the resolution on Srebrenica would have exacerbated the situation in the region.

    Churkin was born in Moscow on February 21, 1952. He has served as Russia's permanent envoy to the United Nations and Russian representative in the UN Security Council since April 2006. Churkin passed away in his office in New York on Monday. The diplomat would have turned 65 on Tuesday, February 21.


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    Tomislav Nikolic, Vitaly Churkin, Serbia, Russia
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