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MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/.Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken a brief vacation and is expected to return to Moscow on March 3, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media.
"The president will return to Moscow tomorrow (Friday) morning. Following the completion of his working schedule in Krasnoyarsk, he made a decision to take a day off and spend it in the countryside. He is now in the taiga forest. He spent last night there and will stay for one more night, but tomorrow morning he will return to Moscow to his routine working schedule," Peskov stated.
He added that Putin took a day off to go hiking, but refrained from commenting on rumors that Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu was keeping him company.
"I cannot say anything about Shoigu. I have no information on that score, because this day off is part of the president’s private schedule. I just do not know," Peskov said.
On March 1, Putin chaired a conference in Krasnoyarsk devoted to holding the 29th Winter Universiade in 2019. Also, he paid a visit to the Krasnoyarsk regional center of sports training Biathlon Academy and met with the winners of the 2017 Universiade, held in Almaty on January 29 - February 8, 2017.
Putin arrived in Krasnoyarsk on February 28 from Bishkek, the last city he visited during his tour of Central Asia, which also took him to Almaty and Dushanbe. Putin’s trip was timed for the 25th anniversary of Russia’s diplomatic relations with Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
This is not the first time Putin picked the Siberian wilderness for a brief holiday. In 2014 he took a day off on his birthday, October 7, to spend it in the Siberian countryside, as well. As his spokesman Dmitry Peskov would tell the media later, Putin stopped for the night 300-400 kilometers away from the nearest locality. The conditions, he said, were "not stationary ones." Peskov would not disclose any other details or Putin’s likely companions. The next day Putin chaired a meeting of the State Council’s Presidium in Novosibirsk.
Last July, Putin spent a holiday in Tyva and Khakassia in the company of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. Peskov said Putin had caught a 21-kilogram pike on a spinning rod. In Tyva, Putin and Shoigu went for a day to the mountain lake Tokpak-Hol. "The next day Putin moved to a tiny lake, Tokpak-Hol, where not one person had ever set foot before, and had some great fishing," Peskov said.