Moscow | Jagran World Desk: Russian President Vladimir Putin will self-isolate because of the COVID-19 cases in his inner circle. The Kremlin, however, said that Putin tested negative for COVID-19.

The Kremlin made the announcement on Tuesday in its readout of Putin's phone call with Tajikistan's president. Putin has been fully vaccinated with the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V. He received his second shot in April.

According to Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, Putin is "absolutely healthy", but will self-isolate after coming in contact with someone who contracted the virus. Peskov didn't clarify for how long Putin would remain in self-isolation, but assured that the president will continue working as usual.

Asked if Putin tested negative for the virus, Peskov said, "definitely, yes".

Peskov didn't say who among Putin's contacts were infected, saying only that there were several cases.

On Monday, the Russian president attended several public events. He greeted Russian Paralympians, attended military exercises conducted in coordination with Belarus, and met with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

During the meeting with the Paralympians, Putin mentioned that he "may have to quarantine soon".

"Even in my circle problems occur with this COVID," the Russian leader was quoted by the state RIA Novosti news agency as saying. "We need to look into what's really happening there. I think I may have to quarantine soon myself. A lot of people around (me) are sick."

Asked why Putin proceeded with public events on Monday, even though he already knew that there were coronavirus cases around him, Peskov said that the decision to self-isolate was made after "doctors completed their testing, their procedures".

Meanwhile, the meeting between Putin and Syria's Bashar Assad was the first since they held a summit in the Syrian capital in January last year.

Syrian state TV described it as a long meeting but did not specify when it took place. The TV said the two were later joined by Syria's foreign minister and Russia's defense minister to discuss mutual relations and fighting terrorism.

Putin and Assad also discussed the political process in the war-torn country, the TV said.

Russia joined Syria's 10-year conflict in September 2015, tipping the balance of power in favour of Assad, whose forces now control much of the country. Hundreds of Russian troops are deployed across Syria and they also have a military air base along Syria's Mediterranean coast.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Subhasish Dutta