Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign minister denied Monday that he had been admitted to hospital for a heart condition following his arrival in Bali for G20 Summit.
The 72-year-old Russian diplomat was reported to have been taken to the Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar after arriving on the Indonesian island Sunday.
“This, of course, is the highest level of fakes,” Maria Zakharova spoke on behalf of Russia’s Foreign Ministry about the Associated Press report that cited multiple Indonesian officials.
Zakharova posted a video on her Telegram channel of a seemingly healthy Lavrov sitting outdoors on a patio, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt and reading documents.
Asked about the report, Lavrov claimed Western journalists have been spreading false rumors about President Vladimir Putin’s health for a decade.
“This is a kind of game that is not new in politics,” Lavrov said. “Western journalists need to be more truthful — they need to write the truth.”
Lavrov said Western media routinely took a partial view of events and ignored Russia’s point of view.
Russia’s state news agency Tass separately cited Lavrov as saying: “I’m in the hotel, reading materials for the summit tomorrow.” The outlet also released an image that showed the minister smiling before a Bali pool.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster told Reuters that Lavrov had briefly visited the hospital for a “check-up” But the minister was well.
“He was in good health and after the check-up he immediately left,” The governor stated.
The Associated Press was told by four Indonesian officials and government officials that Lavrov was admitted to the Sanglah Hospital.
Because they were not allowed to discuss the matter publicly, all of the officials refused to be identified. Two people claimed that Lavrov was being treated for a heart condition.
Lavrov is the highest-ranking Russian official at the G20 meeting, which President Biden, China’s Xi Jinping and other leaders are attending.
Putin’s attendance at the G20, which begins Tuesday, had been uncertain until last week, when the Kremlin confirmed he would not come and that Russia would be represented by Lavrov instead.
Lavrov has been Putin’s foreign minister since 2004, making him Russia’s longest-serving top diplomat since Soviet times.
Before becoming foreign minister, Lavrov, nicknamed “Dr. No” in the West, served as Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations.
With Post wires