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Russia Denies FM Lavrov Hospitalized in Bali Following Indonesian Claims

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is in good health after two health checks at a hospital in Bali, an Indonesian health ministry official said Monday, as Moscow denied the top diplomat had been hospitalized.

The Associated Press had reported, citing unnamed Indonesian government and health officials, that Lavrov, 72, had been hospitalized and treated for a heart condition.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry quickly denied the report as “fake.”

“Sergei Viktorovich and I are here in Indonesia reading the news feed and can’t believe our eyes,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Telegram messaging app channel.

Lavrov told Russia's state-run TASS news agency that he was preparing for the summit in his hotel.

“This is not a new game in politics,” Lavrov, wearing a T-shirt and shorts, can be seen saying in a video filmed and published by Zakharova from what appears to be a hotel balcony in a tropical location.

An Indonesian official told AFP that Lavrov had been taken to the hospital two days in a row after arriving Sunday on the resort island of Bali, where he is replacing President Vladimir Putin as the head of Moscow's G20 delegation.

"He (Lavrov) is in good health, he came to the hospital yesterday after he arrived in Bali, only to get his health checked," said health ministry official Sunarto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

"Earlier (Monday), he came again to the hospital only for another health check and thank God he is healthy," he told AFP.

Lavrov traveled to the G20 summit of leading economies in place of Putin, who has been shunned by Western leaders for his decision to invade Ukraine this year.

AFP contributed reporting.

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