Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has criticized certain media outlets' persistence in covering the topic of the president's health.
"All athletes have plenty of injuries, especially those who exercise actively and every day, like Putin. Moreover, Putin became a semi-professional athlete a very long time ago. And he keeps doing exercises seriously," Peskov told Interfax, commenting on news reports claiming that the Russian president refrains from traveling abroad due to health problems linked with an old injury, which deteriorated after Putin flew in a motorized hang glider alongside two Siberian white cranes.
"Indeed, he pulled a muscle. It happened before Vladivostok. He was suffering from some muscle pain then. Actually, we have never tried to conceal it because any athlete has lots of injuries, which, however, do not mean any restrictions of his activities," the press secretary said, adding that the situation had not effected Putin's work schedule.
"Some media outlets' persistence [in covering this issue] should be put to better use," he said.
"We have already said more than once that such allegations are totally groundless," Peskov said.
It is impossible to speak about the postponement of visits in general because a date for each visit is discussed and set separately, "which we are doing today," he said.
Visit dates depend on a degree of the sides' preparedness, the press secretary said.
Postponing a visit means rescheduling an officially announced date for the president's visit to this country or another, Peskov said.
Nothing of this kind is happening today, he added.
"At the same time, when the time comes for events that require the president's presence in the Kremlin from a ceremonial and protocol standpoint, he will be there. But today he is working in Ogaryovo in order, among other factors, not to further deteriorate the already deplorable transport situation in Moscow," Peskov said.