Russian ambassador to United Nations died of heart attack, officials say

EPA  SERGEI CHIRIKOV  POOL

But a spokeswoman for New York's medical examiner, Julie Bolcer, said the office had been told by the city's Law Department not to give any more details "to comply with global law and protocol".

Churkin died last month, after collapsing in his office on February 20.

The Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin died of a heart attack, with no signs of foul play, a senior official said here.

The 1947 agreement between the US and the U.N. that established the United Nations Headquarters in New York City provides diplomatic immunity for envoys of the nations represented there.

The office of the chief medical examiner said that details of his death were being withheld to comply with global law.

As a result, the cause of his death remains unclear.




A state department official told the BBC that further comment or details on the results of the post-mortem could not be disclosed because of an agreement between the USA and the UN.

"I have just returned to NY and have learned with shock and sadness of the news on the sudden passing of Ambassador Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin, who was an outstanding diplomat".

Postmortem tests were conducted on Vitaly Churkin last month.

Churkin's grave, in Moscow.

In a letter to the city's legal office, the US's United Nations mission claimed the Russian government had already complained about statements on Churkin's medical history made by officials. A day after Churkin died, the Russian president awarded the diplomat a posthumous Medal of Courage for "selflessness, perseverance, and high professionalism".

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