Russian UN ambassador died from heart attack, official autopsy results withheld

Mar 12, 2017, 01:05
Russian UN ambassador died from heart attack, official autopsy results withheld

The New York City medical examiner's office will not release the cause and manner of death for Russia's ambassador to the United Nations.

The ambassador's cause of death was confirmed by a senior city official on condition of anonymity Friday after the medical examiner's office declined to release details about his passing on account of diplomatic protocol, the Associated Press reported.

Vitaly Churkin died unexpectedly in NY last month, one day before his 65th birthday.

Russia's longtime envoy to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died from a heart attack suffered inside his Manhattan office last month, a city official said Friday.

America's Department of State has requested in writing that the post-mortem results are not revealed because Mr Churkin's diplomatic immunity survives his death.

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The pilgrims were due to pray at the cemetery after visiting the Sayeda Zeinab shrine just outside Damascus, he said. Spokesman for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, Ahmed Jamal, described the attack as a "criminal terrorist operation".

Bolcer directed all further questions to the State Department, but it was unable to provide additional answers.

The AP said that in a follow-up letter on March 1, the State Department said the Russian Federation raised concerns after the autopsy had been conducted, and "voluntary statements reported in the media about Ambassador Churkin's medical history" prompted complaints from Russian diplomats.

In another letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio's global affairs office, dated March 1, James Donovan of the State Department wrote, "The United States has an obligation to take all appropriate steps to protect his dignity".

Churkin, 64, had served as Russia's ambassador to the United Nations since 2006.

The cause of the veteran diplomat's death remains unclear. He was the longest-serving ambassador on the Security Council, the U.N.'s most powerful body.