The State Department asked the New York Medical Examiner not to publicly release information about the cause of death of Russia's ambassador to the United Nations.

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

"In order to comply with international law and protocol, the New York City Law Department has instructed the Office of Chief Medical Examiner to not publicly disclose the cause and manner of death of Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations," Office of Chief Medical Examiner spokesman Julie Bolcer said, according to New York Times reporter Michael Grynbaum.

ADVERTISEMENT
"As outlined in formal requests from the United States Department of State, Ambassador Churkin's diplomatic immunity survives his death. Further questions concerning this matter should be directed to the United States Department of State."

Initial reports suggested that there was no foul play involved in the incident and that Churkin died from cardiac arrest.