Putin’s back problem dismissed by Kremlin
MOSCOWThe Kremlin has dismissed talk that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a back problem that prompted him to postpone foreign visits and might require surgery.
Putin, who began a six-year presidential term in May and turned 60 on Oct. 7, was seen to be limping at an Asia-Pacific summit in the Pacific port of Vladivostok in early September. Three government sources have told Reuters that Putin was suffering from back trouble. One said it would require surgery in the near future. Sources said the Russian leader’s schedule was being cleared for early November, including through postponement until late December of a trip to India that had been expected soon.
“This does not correspond to reality,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters. He said Putin did not have a back problem and did not plan to take time off. “You can see that he is having daily meetings,” Peskov said. He said the earlier limp had been a “sports injury.”
Putin did not travel to Pakistan for a planned four-nation summit on Afghanistan earlier this month and did not make an expected trip to Turkey. One source said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was expected to travel to Turkmenistan in Putin’s stead next week.