Russian top diplomat suffers 'slight sports injury'
MOSCOW - Agence France- Presse
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends the ASEAN Global Dialogue at the 21st Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 20 November 2012. Cambodia is hosting the 21st Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and associated summits from 15-20 November 2012. EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is suffering from a "slight sports injury" which will have no impact on his work, officials said Tuesday in a case oddly similar to the health problems of President Vladimir Putin.
The foreign ministry denied reports in Turkish media that Lavrov had broken an arm or a wrist while falling down the stairs at a hotel on Putin's trip to Istanbul Monday.
"We are talking about a slight sports injury which has not affected the minister's timetable," a spokesman told the RIA Novosti news agency without giving further details.
Reports that the minister, who has held his post since 2004, had been hospitalised "were pure imagination", the official added.
Lavrov is as planned heading to Brussels Tuesday for a ministerial NATO meeting.
Aides have also admitted that Putin has himself been suffering from a slight sports injury after he was spotted limping at an Asian summit in September.
Russian media reports have suggested that Putin was forced to halt all travel outside Moscow for two months to allow treatment for a back problem. But the Kremlin has insisted that the injury has not affected his working timetable at all.
Explanations for the president's injury have ranged from a fall from a horse or a nasty tumble while Putin was playing his favourite sport judo.
Putin's trip to Turkey was his first foreign visit since he went to Tajikistan in early October.