Russia denies foreign minister taken to hospital ahead of G-20 summit

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attendin a session of the Russian State Duma on October 3, 2022.

Russian State Duma | Reuters

Russia’s foreign ministry on Monday denied a report that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was taken to hospital after he arrived in Bali on Sunday for the G-20 meeting.

AP, citing four Indonesian government and medical officials, reported that 72-year-old Lavrov had been taken to the hospital after landing in Bali, where he is set to attend the summit that begins on Tuesday, and had been treated for a heart condition, with no further details provided.

Bali Governor I Wayan Koster told Reuters that Lavrov had visited hospital, for what he said was a check-up, and that the minister was in good health.

However, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova derided the report Monday, saying she was “here with Sergey Viktorovich [Lavrov] in Indonesia … and we do not believe our eyes: it turns out that he was hospitalized,” she said, calling the report the “height of fake news.”

She then posted a video of Lavrov dismissing reports he had fallen ill, saying Russia was used to similar reports speculating on the state of President Vladimir Putin’s health.

“Well, it’s been written about our president for 10 years now that he fell ill. This is such a game that is not new in politics,” Lavrov said.

Images showed him arriving at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali on Sunday and being greeted by officials.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov walks out of the plane upon arrival at Terminal VVIP I at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali, Indonesia on November 13, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Lavrov is leading the Russian delegation at the G-20 summit where he is expected to press Russia’s case for the unhindered export of its grains and fertilizers, and increasing gas supplies to Turkey.

Lavrov is due to attend the summit in Bali in place of President Vladimir Putin, who had said previously he would not attend the meeting. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to attend virtually.

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