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Transport Minister of Nauru Dies in Moscow

A flag of Nauru. Pixabay

A top government official from the small Pacific nation of Nauru has died in Moscow, Russian police have confirmed.

Valdon Dowiyogo, Nauru's Minister of Transport and Health, died in his room at the Marriott Renaissance Moscow Monarch Center hotel on Dec. 8, the Moskva news agency reported Friday.

The politician, the son of former Nauruan president Bernard Dowiyogo, traveled to Russia to attend a conference of transport ministers as part of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

The forty-eight-year-old was known to suffer from a number of health conditions, and police are not treating his death as suspicious, Moskva reported.

With an area of 21 square kilometers, Nauru is the third smallest state in the world.

Along with Nicaragua and Venezuela, the country is one of just a handful of nations that recognize the Russian-backed separatist republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Nauruan government has also received developmental aid from Russia, including a $9 million port refurbishment program in 2008.

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