Russian ambassador to the UN dies ‘suddenly’

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Vitaly Churkin (PHOTO: CNN)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, died suddenly in New York on Monday.

State-funded Russian television network RT reports that the Ministry characterized his death as “sudden”.

His death was announced at a UN meeting. The New York Post reports that sources say he was suffering from a cardiac condition at the Russian embassy in Manhattan.

“The outstanding Russian diplomat died while he was in his current working role,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “We offer our condolences to the relatives of Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin.”

Churkin had served in this position since 2006, and in the past had served as ambassador to Belgium, ambassador to Canada, and liaison ambassador to NATO and the Western European Union.

The Kremlin has yet to comment.