Moscow, February 22, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia expressed his condolences to the widow of the permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin.
"Outstanding diplomat, well known abroad, he stood up with dignity for Russia's position and interests in the United Nations and will be commemorated as a person selflessly devoted to his duty," the patriarch said in his condolences cited by his press service.
The primate wished "strength of spirit and consolation" to his relatives.
Head of the Russian Council of Muftis Ravil Gainutdin in his condolences posted by the council's website said that Churkin's speeches "changed destinies of nations and countries."
Vitaly Churkin was born on February 21, 1952. He had been Russia's envoy to the UN since April 8, 2006. Churkin died in New York on February 20, a day before his 65th birthday.