Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov taken to hospital after arriving for the G20 summit
Lavrov, is representing Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the summit – and arrived in Bali on Sunday ahead of the G20 summit. He is the highest-ranking Russian official attending the G20 summit which begins on Tuesday.
Four Indonesian government and medical officials said Mr Lavrov was receiving treatment at the Sanglah Hospital in the provincial capital, Denpasar. Two of the people said Lavrov had been treated for a heart condition. The hospital did not immediately comment.
But Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova later denied that Mr Lavrov had been hospitalised but did not address whether he had received treatment.
She posted a video of Mr Lavrov, looking healthy in a T-shirt and shorts, in which he was asked to comment on the report of his treatment.
“They’ve been writing about our president for 10 years that he’s fallen ill. It’s a game that is not new in politics,” Mr Lavrov says in the video.
Russia’s state news agency Tass cited Mr Lavrov as saying, “I’m in the hotel, reading materials for the summit tomorrow.”
Mr Lavrov is the highest-ranking Russian official at the gathering, which US President Joe Biden, China’s Xi Jinping and other leaders are attending.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attendance at the G20 had been uncertain until last week, when officials confirmed he would not come and that Russia would be represented by Mr Lavrov instead.
The long time supporter of Putin has championed his war in Ukraine, and in May this year took to European interviews to defend the Russian President amid speculation around his health. At a UN summit there was a mass walkout from the UN Human Rights Council as Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov spoke. Dozens of diplomats, including those from Britain, the US and European Union, filed out of the meeting when a video message from Vladimir Putin’s ally played which then Prime Minister Liz Truss said was “full of disinformation.”
Lavrov has attracted criticism from across the West amid the Ukraine conflict for some of his controversial statements, including stating that the US is acting like Hitler and that Ukraine’s government are neo-Nazis with the invasion being necessary.