The Kremlin on Friday rejected as untrue a report in Britain’s mass market The Sun newspaper which suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have Parkinson’s disease and be poised to quit early next year.
The Sun cited Professor Valery Solovei, a Russian political pundit, who suggested earlier this week on a Moscow radio station that Putin was under pressure from his entourage to step down due to fears for his health.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the media report based on Solovei’s assertions, which was widely picked up by other British tabloid newspapers, was false.
“It’s absolute nonsense,” said Peskov. “Everything is fine with the president.”
Asked if Putin was planning to step down in the near future as Solovei had suggested, Peskov said: “No”.
Solovei was quoted as saying, “There is a family, it has a great influence on him. He intends to make public his handover plans in January.”
He claimed that Putin may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease as the president has been seen recently exhibiting symptoms of the disease.
“Observers who studied recent footage of Putin noted his legs appeared to be in constant motion and he looked to be in pain while clutching the armrest of a chair. His fingers are also seen to be twitching as he held a pen and gripped a cup believed to contain a cocktail of painkillers,” a report in The Sun claimed.