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UK media report that Putin is ill and poised to quit is nonsense, says Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a video conference call with members of the Security Council in Moscow, Russia November 6, 2020. Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Friday rejected as untrue a report in Britain’s mass market 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”.

Reporting by Dmitry Antonov and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn