Kremlin has released videos of Vladimir Putin, Russian President, attending a meeting on Friday after more than week during which he had cancelled a series of engagements sparking speculations of his ill health.
The three images released by the Kremlin showed President Putin meeting the head of the Supreme Court of Russia in Moscow on Friday. Russia 24, the state broadcaster, also broadcast TV footages of the meeting. CNN, however, could not independently confirm the holding of the meeting at the time and place as shown.
Dmitry Peskov, the Presidential spokesman, pooh-poohed the rumor of Putin’s ill health, and jokingly said that the rumor mongers were down with “spring fever”, as per a report of the state run Tass news agency of Russia. Peskov has been reported to have joked that when the sun came up in the spring season, and the moment spring was in the air, the spring fever began. He added that many dreamt of Sechin’s resignation, some others of government resignation, and others of not seeing President Putin for a number of days on TV. He further advised people, while speaking to Echo of Moscow, the Russian Radio Station, not to worry about President who was “absolutely” healthy. On being asked whether Putin’s handshake was firm, Peskov retorted that he could break a hand.
The rumor about Putin started after the cancellation of his planned meeting with presidents of Kazakhstan and Belarus in Astana, the Kazakh capital, at short notice. Peskov, however, revealed that the leaders had agreed for a delay in the meeting, but did not give a specific date on which the meeting was re-scheduled. As per the Kremlin press office, Putin was likely to meet with Almazbek Atambayev, the Kyrgyz counterpart, on Monday in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia.
The last public appearance of Putin was on Sunday, the International Women’s Day, after which he had had several meetings to attend, but no video of those meetings being released, speculations were rife about his ill health. He had been in international spotlight in the recent past due to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine, and the resultant acrimony with the West.