Starting in 2006, Vitaly Churkin was Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, a man whose intelligence, wit and grace under pressure became admired by his colleagues and even his adversaries.
When Churkin died suddenly and mysteriously on the 20th of February, 2017, Russia and indeed the entire United Nations realised that his were almost impossible to fully fill.
Now however, Churkin’s seat at the UN will be taken over full time by Vasily Nebenzya.
Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya was born in 1962 and began his long diplomatic career as the Soviet Union’s Ambassador to Thailand in 1988. In 1990 he returned to Moscow to work in the Foreign Ministry of the Soviet Union and later of the Russian Federation.
After many previous diplomatic roles including Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nation’s offices in Geneva, Nebenzya took up the prestigious position as one of Russia’s Deputy Foreign Ministers under Sergey Lavrov.
Starting soon, Nebenzya will be based permanently in New York where he will represent Russia at the UN, including from Russia’s position as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
I personally wish the best of fortune to Vasily Alekseevich, in what is one of the most important and demanding jobs in the world.