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More tests needed on Russian UN ambassador’s cause of death

NEW YORK — Medical examiners who performed an autopsy on Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday that more tests are needed to determine how and why he fell ill in his office and later died in a hospital.

Vitaly Churkin, who died Monday at age 64, had been Russia’s envoy at the UN since 2006. He was the longest-serving ambassador on the Security Council, the UN’s most powerful body.

City medical examiners concluded that Churkin’s death needed further study, which usually includes toxicology and other screenings. Those can take weeks.

The medical examiner is responsible for investigating deaths that occur by criminal violence, by accident, by suicide, suddenly, when the person seemed healthy, or occurred in an unusual or suspicious manner. The case was referred to the medical examiner’s office by the hospital.


Moscow has not given a date for Churkin’s funeral.

Churkin’s death brought condolences from diplomats and world leaders, with President Trump calling him ‘‘an accomplished diplomat.’’

‘‘While American officials sometimes disagreed with their Russian counterparts, Ambassador Churkin played a crucial role in working with the United States on a number of key issues to advance global security,’’ Trump said in a prepared statement.

Associated Press