Kazakhstan’s ex-president Nursultan Nazarbayev has tested positive for coronavirus, his press service announced Thursday.
Nazarbayev, 79, stepped down last year after almost 30 years in power in the oil-rich Central Asian nation, retaining key security council and party leader positions while handpicking a loyalist as his successor. As a former Soviet republic, Kazakhstan maintains close ties with Moscow.
“The first president of Kazakhstan is currently in self-isolation. Unfortunately, his last test for the coronavirus infection showed a positive result,” Nazarbayev’s press service said.
“There’s no cause for concern. Nursultan Nazarbayev continues to work remotely,” it added.
Nazarbayev is at least the second post-Soviet leader to become infected with coronavirus.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tested positive for Covid-19 in early June, while the wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was hospitalized with the infection this week.