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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Diplomat Accused of Drunk Car Chase

Russia’s No. 2 diplomat in the Estonian city of Narva led police on a 45-minute chase and hit a police car after refusing to take a Breathalyzer test, a news report said Monday.

Sergei Sukharev, 53, who works at the Russian consulate in Narva, was stopped by traffic police on suspicion of driving drunk Sunday afternoon after spending the night at a strip club, the Eesti Päevaleht news portal reported.

Sukharev repeatedly refused to take a Breathalyzer test, claiming diplomatic immunity, and then sped away in his car, the report said. He drove off so abruptly that policemen had to jump sideways to avoid being run over, it said.

Sukharev was stopped 45 minutes later by two police cars, and he collided with one of them head-on as he again sped away, Eesti Päevaleht said. He then drove home.

In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment about the incident.

Estonian police have opened a criminal investigation.

Narva police were tipped off by a concerned bodyguard working at the strip club, Eesti Päevaleht said. Incidentally, the club is located near the police station.

Russian diplomats have been accused of drunk driving in the past.

In 2006, a member of Russia’s mission to the United Nations in New York, Ilya Morozov, injured a policeman while driving intoxicated on East 108th Street in Manhattan, part of which was closed because of construction works. Diplomatic immunity protected him from prosecution. In 2001, Russian diplomat Andrei Knyazev killed one pedestrian and severely injured another in Ottawa, Canada. Moscow refused to lift his diplomatic immunity, much to the consternation of Canadian authorities. Knyazev was tried in Russia and received a four-year prison sentence.