Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov appears in video amid reports he was taken to hospital after arrival at G20 | World News

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has been taken to hospital after his arrival in Bali for the G20 summit yesterday, Indonesian authorities have said.

Bali’s governor Wayan Koster said he had been taken in for a “check-up” at the Sanglah Hospital in the provincial capital, Denpasar, and was “immediately returned”.

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Three Indonesian government and medical officials said he was being treated on the resort island, with two of them reporting Mr Lavrov was receiving treatment for a heart condition.

The Russian foreign ministry dismissed claims that he had been in hospital as “fake news”.

In a Telegram post, director of the information and press department for the ministry Maria Zakharova said: “We can’t believe our eyes: it turns out that he is hospitalised.

“This is, of course, the aerobatics of fakes. Well, wait, world exclusive.”

Sky News Moscow correspondent Diana Magnay said Ms Zakharova has shared a video showing Mr Lavrov, who has been Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister since 2004, sitting in his shorts, working on a balcony.

In the clip, she asks the 72-year-old what he makes of the reports, to which he replies that Western journalists
have been falsely writing that Putin was ill for a decade.

“This is a kind of game that is not new in politics,” Mr Lavrov said with an ironic smile.

“Western journalists need to be more truthful – they need to write the truth.”

Image:
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. Pic: Telegram/Tass

Why is Lavrov at the G20 summit?

Russian news agency TASS has also shared an image appearing to show the minister smiling in front of a pool in Bali.

Mr Lavrov is the highest-ranking Russian official attending the G20 summit, which begins on Tuesday.

“He is there for the G20 in place of Vladimir Putin, who decided not to attend in person himself due to the optics of him being snubbed on the world stage would not have been good,” Magnay added.

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“It will be interesting to see who he has meetings with. We shall see how the G20 leaders respond to him.”

It is likely to be the most fractious G20 meeting ever, with the traditional “family photo” of all the leaders being called off due to many not wanting to be pictured with anyone from Putin’s regime.

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Diplomats have also raised doubts that leaders will be able to issue a joint statement at the end of the summit, as usually happens.

While most would like to agree on a statement condemning Russia, that will not happen as Russia would have to agree to it.

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