Vitaly Churkin

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Vitaly Churkin
2012-02-22 Виталий Чуркин.jpg
Ambassador to the United Nations
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 May 2006
President Vladimir Putin
Dmitry Medvedev
Vladimir Putin
Preceded by Andrey Denisov
Ambassador to Belgium
In office
3 October 1994 – 25 February 1998
President Boris Yeltsin
Preceded by Sergey Kislyak
Succeeded by Nikolay Afanasevsky
Personal details
Born Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin
Виталий Иванович Чуркин
Alma mater Moscow State Institute of International Relations
Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union

Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin (Russian: Виталий Иванович Чуркин; born February 21, 1952) is a Russian diplomat who has served as Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations since 2006. Previously he was Ambassador to Belgium from 1994 to 1998 and Ambassador to Canada from 1998 to 2003.

Biography[edit]

Churkin was born in Moscow. He graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1974, and began working for them then, and he received a PhD in history from the USSR Diplomatic Academy in 1981. Subsequently he was Director of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. He also served as a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, and he was Deputy Foreign Minister from 1992 to 1994.

Churkin was Russia's Ambassador to Belgium from 1994 to 1998 and Ambassador to Canada from 1998 to 2003. Subsequently he served as Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2006. He replaced Andrey Denisov as Permanent Representative to the United Nations on 1 May 2006, when he presented his credentials to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.

He has also been the chairman of the Senior Officials of the Arctic Council. He is fluent in Russian, Mongolian, French and English.

Chernobyl testimony[edit]

Churkin won some notoriety in 1986 when, as a 34-year-old second secretary, he was selected by Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin to testify before the United States Congress on the Chernobyl nuclear power station accident.[1] This was reported as the first time in history a Soviet official testified before a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.[2] The choice of Churkin, then a relatively junior diplomat, was due to his reputation as the most fluent English-speaker in the Soviet Embassy; media reported he possessed "an array of English slang."[2] Churkin's performance led to his being parodied in a Washington Post political cartoon series, Mark Alan Stamaty's "Washingtoon", as Vitaly "Charmyourpantsoff".

Career timeline[edit]

1974 - Graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations

1974 - Joined the USSR Foreign Ministry

1974-79 - staff member of the USSR delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks

1979-82 - third secretary, US desk, USSR Foreign Ministry

1981 - PhD in history from the USSR Diplomatic Academy

1982-87 - second, first secretary, USSR Embassy in Washington DC

1985 - Undertook a speaking tour of United States universities invited by USGov

1987-89 - staff member, International Department, CPSU Central Committee

1989-90 - special adviser to the USSR Minister of Foreign Affairs

1990-91 - Director, Information Department, Spokesman of the USSR Foreign Ministry

1992-94 - Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation to the talks on Former Yugoslavia

1994-98 - Ambassador of Russia to Belgium, Liaison Ambassador to NATO and WEU

1998-2003 - Ambassador of Russia to Canada

2003 - April 2006 - Ambassador at Large, MFA, Chairman of Senior Arctic Officials, Arctic Council, Senior Official of Russia at the Barents/Euro-Arctic Council

April 8, 2006 - Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, Representative of the Russian Federation at the UN Security Council Diplomatic rank — Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (1990)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Greenwald, John (May 12, 1986). "Deadly Meltdown". Time. 
  2. ^ a b Weisskopf, Michael (May 2, 1986). "Soviet Testifies on Capitol Hill, Thrust-and-Parry Reveals Few New Details of Accident". Washington Post. 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Andrey I. Denisov
Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations
2006 -
Succeeded by
Incumbent