Russian Foreign Minister Cancels Balkan Tour After COVID-19 Exposure
October 27, 2020
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called off a Balkan tour after coming into contact with someone infected with COVID-19.
The Foreign Ministry said on October 27 that the 70-year-old diplomat "feels well" but will self-isolate as a precaution.
"The visits and meetings planned earlier are postponed," the ministry said.
Lavrov had planned to visit Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia on October 28 and 29, respectively.
In Belgrade, he was set to meet with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Lavrov on October 26 returned from Athens, where he held meetings with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, and the leader of the opposition Coalition of the Radical Left Alexis Tsipras.
Russia has the fourth-highest coronavirus caseload in the world, with more than 1,540,000 registered infections, including over 26,000 deaths.
Amid a steady rise of infections in recent days, Russian authorities tightened restrictions on October 27, including with a nationwide mask mandate in crowded public spaces, on public transport, in taxis, and in elevators.
The federal public health agency, Rospotrebnadzor, also recommended that regional authorities put a curfew on entertainment events, cafes, restaurants, and bars from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, Reuters, AP, and AFP
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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