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Ukrainian Diplomat Collapses, Dies Suddenly In Thailand


The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry in Kyiv announced the news on may 30, but did not immediately reveal the cause of death. (file photo)

KYIV -- The Foreign Ministry in Kyiv has confirmed that a Ukrainian diplomat has died suddenly while on holiday with his family at a resort island off Thailand's southern coast.

Authorities in Kyiv did not immediately announce the cause of death for Andriy Beshta, 45, who had served as Ukraine's ambassador to Thailand from November 2015 until he was relieved of the post in April.

Police in Thailand quoted Beshta's teenage son, Ostap Beshta, as saying that his father had been feeling fine before he went to sleep on May 29 at about 11 p.m. local time in their shared hotel room on the island of Koh Lipe.

Police said the diplomat's son told investigators that his father woke up vomiting at about 4:30 a.m. and then fell unconscious.

"Preliminary investigations showed no signs of him being attacked, no signs of a raid, or violence," a statement attributed to National Police deputy spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen said.

Thai authorities were questioning other witnesses in the case.

Ekkarat Leesen, the governor of Thailand's southern Satun Province, said Beshta's body was taken to a police hospital for an autopsy.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy tweeted on May 30 that Beshta "was a friendly man and a highly professional diplomat."

Zelenskiy also said he had spoken by telephone to Beshta's four surviving family members in Thailand -- who, according to the Ukrainian embassy's website, include his wife, a daughter, and two sons.

Since 2017, Beshta had also served part-time as Ukraine's ambassador to Laos and Myanmar, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

With reporting by AP and AFP