Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Sredin, 54, died suddenly on January 8. He had been the Russian President's special representative for the Mideastern settlement since 1998. Vasily Sredin made many efforts to consolidate Russia's positions in the Middle East and to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti. Vasily Sredin came through all the stages of diplomatic service - from the secretary of the Soviet Embassy in Cameroon to the Deputy Minister. He devoted more than 20 years of his work to the key trend of the Russian foreign policy - the relations with the USA and Canada.