MOSCOW, March 12 (UPI) -- The Kremlin denied Russian President Vladimir Putin is ill Thursday.
Stories regarding the health of Putin, 62, began circulating after he postponed a trip to Astana, Kazakhstan, scheduled for Thursday and Friday. A scheduled ceremonial signing of a treaty of interrogation between Russia and the breakaway state of South Ossetia did not take place, although there were reports the document was not complete and a security meeting Thursday, which was to include Putin, also did not occur.
He has not been seen in public since his Mar. 5 meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, although the Kremlin website has posted videos of several of his appointments without mentioning their dates. A participant in an International Women's Day delegation, which met with Putin on Mar. 5, told the Moscow business newspaper RBC the President looked tired.
Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said Thursday, ""No need to worry. Everything is all right. He has working meetings all the time, only not all of these meetings are public," adding Putin is "absolutely healthy" and that "his handshake is so strong he breaks hands with it."
Peskov suggested the stories about Putin's health were examples of "spring fever."
Similar stories circulated in December 2012, and Putin addressed them by suggesting false reports about ill health were circulated by political opponents who questioned his ability to preside over the country.