Rumors about Putin's back are highly exaggerated, president's ability to work unaffected - Peskov

Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to participate in sports as usual and the rumors about his back problems do not affect his ability to work, the president's press officer Dmitry Peskov said.

"We continue working and intends to continue working in the same mode. He has no intention of giving up sports. Like any sportsman, he can have pain in his back, hand, or leg, but it has never affected his ability to work," Peskov said in an interview published in the Friday edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda. "He swims and goes to the gym. He said that many times,' Peskov said.

The rumors about "Putin's back" are "highly exaggerated" and "have absolutely no effect on the president's ability to work," Peskov said.

Responding to a question as to how the president reacts to rumors about his illness, Peskov said: "He is not reacting to them. We report to him what is reported and discussed. On the other hand, people often exaggerate and even engage in speculation, and therefore he takes such discussions philosophically."

Peskov said Putin is "informed about that and believes it is normal that people engage in speculation." "He takes it all with understanding," he said.

Peskov said Putin's busy work schedule for December, which involves a meeting with his campaign representatives, an address to the Federal Assembly, a big press conference, a recording of the New Year address to citizens, a trip to Turkey, and working meetings in the Kremlin and in Novo-Ogaryovo, is natural for the president and is not an answer to the speculation about his illness.

"You know, he has no time to respond. It's a normal work schedule. … It depends on the circumstances, the moment of preparation of these events, and the general schedule, and therefore the schedule for December is the way it is. Generally, the president is working the way he has always done," Peskov said.

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