Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the highest-ranking Russian official attending the G-20 summit in Indonesia, has appeared in a video wearing shorts and a T-shirt to prove he is healthy after media reports said he had been hospitalized upon arriving in Bali for the gathering.
In response to the Monday reports, which quoted multiple political and hospital officials as saying Lavrov was taken to the hospital “for a health checkup,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted a video of Lavrov to prove he was not ill.
While calling the reports “the highest level of fake,” she also did not comment on whether the 72-year-old minister had been to the hospital as reported.
“They’ve been writing about our president for 10 years that he’s fallen ill. It’s a game that is not new in politics,” Lavrov says in the video, where he can be seen sitting at a small table.
AP quoted Bali Governor I Wayan Koster as saying Lavrov was taken to Sanglah Hospital, the island’s biggest, and left after a brief checkup and that “his health is in good condition.”
Reuters and AFP also quoted officials as confirming Lavrov had visited the hospital.
Lavrov is leading the Russian delegation after President Vladimir Putin confirmed last week he would not attend amid warnings by some countries that he should not be allowed at the meeting because of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s war against Ukraine is expected to be among the issues discussed at the two-day G20 meeting, which brings together officials from countries representing more than 80 percent of the world’s economic production.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are participating in the summit and met earlier on Monday.