Moscow, March 16: The Kremlin will no longer make any comments regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s health in order to avoid triggering more rumours, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov declared on Monday. The statement came after Putin’s meeting with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev on Monday when jourlists were able to see for themselves the Russian president was well and in good shape.
Putin and Atambayev met at Streli near St. Petersburg against a backdrop of media speculation that the Russian president was not well, Tass news agency reported. The Kremlin press service’s repeated statements to the contrary had little effect. “We have said it a dozen times. Saying it again is just impossible. The more we talk, the more rumours there are,” Peskov explained. “We don’t want to discuss this theme anymore.” The Kyrgyz president said he had raised the issue of Putin’s health to ensure there should be no more gossip. “He has just taken me for a ride around the premises of the Konstantin Palace. He was driving the car himself to make sure there be fewer rumours,” Atambayev said. “The Russian president not just goes out for strolls, but takes the seat at the wheel to take his guests for a fast ride,” the Kyrgyz leader said. “I had happened to hear various rumours myself, but as you can see all that are not very correct,” Atambayev said. “As a Russian saying goes, ‘You won’t live to see that happen’.” Putin, who was standing nearby, nodded with a smile and added: “Life would’ve been too dull without rumours.” After the meeting, Peskov told the media Putin and Atambayev had spent about 20 minutes in the car. The Russian president showed various sites of the park to his guest. Peskov did not mention the make of the vehicle. “They went sightseeing, because there is no more snow and everything is very beautiful. Atambayev is not very familiar with the local places of interest, so they explored the Konstantin Palace’s premises together,” Peskov said. While answering media questions Peskov explained why Putin and Atambayev had decided to meet in St. Petersburg: “The Kyrgyz president’s daughter is studying here.” (IANS)