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ISTOCNO SARAJEVO, February 20 /SRNA/ - Russian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Petr Ivantsov and Chairman of the BiH Presidency Milorad Dodik laid a wreath to the memorial honouring the former Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin in Istocno Sarajevo on Wednesday.


Dodik pointed out that Churkin became a symbol for Serbs the moment when, in accordance with the Russian policy, at the UN Security Council he exercised his veto and prevented the Serb people from being qualified as genocidal.

He recalled that Churkin indebted the Serbs as Russia’s permanent representative to the UN in 2015 when he thwarted a draft resolution on Srebrenica proposed by the United Kingdom, and previously, during his diplomatic activities in various places.

"Churkin unequivocally executed the views of the Russian state, which did all in its power for the conflict in the former Yugoslavia to end quickly and be observed objectively. It is important that we keep the memory of his activities and his life with dignity here in Istocno Sarajevo,” Dodik told the press.

Ambassador Ivantsov stated that Churkin was a Russian diplomacy great and pointed out that a man lives as long as he is remembered by those who love and respect him.

"Churkin’s deeds live on and live here in Istocno Sarajevo and that is demonstrated by this event here, which is attended by the BiH Presidency Chairman, Milorad Dodik. This is a testimony of special relations between our nations. This understanding is based on long-term historical and religious relations between the Russians and Serbs,” underlined Ivantsov.

The Russians respect other peoples in BiH too, the Croats and Bosniaks, he said.

"We believe that only equality of peoples, with mutual respect and willingness to overcome conflicts and reach compromise, is the basis for the future, based on the Dayton Peace Agreement which we defend,” said the Russian Ambassador.

He added that Ambassador Churkin had defended precisely those views at the UN Security Council.

Wreaths to the Churkin memorial were also laid by Mayor of Istocno Sarajevo Nenad Vukovic and Mayor of Istocno Novo Sarajevo Ljubisa Cosic, as well as other delegations.

The Churkin memorial was unveiled on November 6, 2017 in Istocno Sarajevo as a symbol of the Russian diplomat’s contribution to the defence of Serbs’ interests.

Apart from the general information and portrait of Vitaly Churkin, the black stone-made memorial also contains the inscription in Russian “Thank you for the Russian nyet”.

Churkin passed away in New York on February 20, 2017 and was buried in Moscow four days later. /end/ds