MOSCOW, September 1. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin bid farewell to the first president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev at Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital on Thursday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"Before leaving [for Kaliningrad], the president stopped by the Central Clinical Hospital, where he bid farewell to Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev and laid flowers at his coffin," Peskov said.
He noted that the head of state's work schedule "unfortunately did not allow" him to take part in the general farewell ceremony scheduled for September 3. "That is why he decided to surely to do so [bid farewell] today," the spokesman concluded.
Earlier, Peskov said that Gorbachev's funeral would have elements of a state funeral, including an honor guard and a farewell. The state would also assist with funeral arrangements. The spokesman did not specify what elements of a state funeral would be missing.
Mikhail Gorbachev died in Moscow on Tuesday at the age of 91. The farewell ceremony will be held in the Pillar Hall of the House of the Unions, and funeral itself is to take place at the Novodevichy Cemetery on Saturday, September 3.