By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, February 20 – Vitaly Churkin, long time Russian Ambassador to the UN, died on Monday while working, the day before his 65th birthday.
Churkin's advocacy in the UN Security Council ranged from deriding US Ambassador Samantha Power as a Mother Theresa wannabe, back to asking if then US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad's earpiece was working, during a late night Council meeting about Abhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia.
Here's video of Churkin on December 30, 2016, Inner City Press asking him about Syria and Libya.
On Africa, for example, Churkin told Inner City Press that there shouldn't be a vote on Eritrea sanctions until that country's president was allowed to address the Security Council. Churkin spoke at length with Inner City Press,recounting that "we had some people working on the sanctions resolution, on and off... All of the sudden last night we were told the sponsors were moving the resolution in blue, voting... today."
As Inner City Press exclusively reported [then] US Ambassador Susan Rice said the vote should take place Wednesday since Gabon, Nigeria and the regional IGAD group want the sanctions.
Churkin disagreed, saying "there is a 48 hour rule.. but at least 24 hours" between putting a text into blue and voting on it. He also noted that "more than a month ago, the president of Eritrea asked to address the Security Council. We believe it is his right under the UN Charter."
Churkin said Afwerki's request was "consulted on by President of the Council. One delegation was objecting. We did not precipitate this issue, we were not sure, if they were not in a hurry on the resolution... But under those circumstances, we think it would just be wrong to act today on this resolution. We should finalize experts that were interrupted and give a chance to the President of Eritrea to come to New York."
Churkin said that Afwerki sent "another letter today that he wants to come and speak before the vote." About the draft, Churkin said, "we have two or three concerns, some other have more, some African countries."
On the other hand, on February 20 after Churkin's death, a diplomat told Inner City Press of Churkin being nice, in Security Council closed door consultations, with Susan Rice and her child, during hair braiding.
Here is Periscope video of Churkin speaking, about Syria, on the steps outside the UN Security Council earlier this year.
That was Churkin, rest in peace. Watch this site.