June 24, 2020 / 8:28 AM / 21 days ago

Kyrgyz leader misses Russian victory parade as aides contract COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov address the media at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BISHKEK (Reuters) - Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov missed a World War Two victory parade in Russia on Wednesday after two people who accompanied him on the flight to Moscow tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival, his office said.

The parade, marking the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, was postponed from May 9 because of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Jeenbekov had been scheduled to attend alongside several other leaders from former Soviet republics.

One of the members of his entourage who tested positive was Daniyar Sydykov, head of the foreign policy unit in the presidential administration. The second person was a guard, Jeenbekov’s office said.

Jeenbekov and the other delegation members, who have already left Moscow, will now self-isolate for three days, awaiting test results, his office said.

The Kyrgyz government has said it may have to reimpose tough restrictions in the country of 6.5 million following a resurgence of COVID-19.

Also absent from Wednesday’s parade in Moscow was Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who told Russian President Vladimir Putin that he would have to mark his birthday in quarantine if he chose to attend.

Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko, Writing by Olzhas Auyezov, Editing by Timothy Heritage and Gareth Jones

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