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Putin to hold meeting with UN chief via video link-up — Kremlin

The choice of format has nothing to do with the Russian president's state of health but rather with the pandemic precautions, the spokesman said

MOSCOW, May 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres via a video link-up on Thursday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"UN Secretary-General Guterres is visiting Moscow. Today the president will also talk to the Secretary-General via a video conference. We will issue a statement like we do in case of phone conversations," Peskov said.

"It [the choice of format] has nothing to do with his [Putin’s] state of health. The recommendations by infectious disease doctors and special rules related to the president are the reason," Peskov said in response to a question if the choice of how the meeting would be arranged had anything to do with Putin’s health or coronavirus anti-body levels.

The Russian presidential spokesman also said that "it stems from the ongoing pandemic, as precautions are still in place and everyone needs to follow the recommendations of infectious disease doctors, particularly when it concerns the head of state." "The president has been holding quite a few face-to-face meetings and infectious disease doctors consider the matter separately every time," he noted.

When asked if Putin’s upcoming meeting with US President Joe Biden would also be held via video conference, Peskov stated that "This meeting will be a separate subject for epidemiologists to consider."

Putin received his first dose of a coronavirus vaccine on March 23. Neither the president nor his representatives clarified which vaccine he had taken. The head of state got his second shot in mid-April.