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Kremlin Says Putin To Meet With Kyrgyz Counterpart

The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with his Kyrgyz counterpart, Almazbek Atambaev, on March 16.

Putin's press service said on March 13 that the two presidents will convene in Putin's native city of St. Petersburg to discuss bilateral ties and Kyrgyzstan's pending membership in the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EES).

The announcement comes amid rumors -- denied by the Kremlin -- that the 62-year-old Putin is ill.

Putin was scheduled to visit Kazakhstan on March 12-13 and meet there with the presidents of the other two founding members of the EES, Belarus and Kazakhstan, but his spokesman said on March 11 that the trip had been postponed for several days.

An unidentified Kazakh official had suggested that the meeting was postponed because Putin was not well.

Based on reporting by TASS and RIA-Novosti

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