Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Foreign Minister Cancels Balkan Tour After COVID-19 Exposure


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called off a Balkan tour after coming into contact with someone infected with COVID-19.

The Foreign Ministry said on October 27 that the 70-year-old diplomat "feels well" but will self-isolate as a precaution.

"The visits and meetings planned earlier are postponed," the ministry said.

Lavrov had planned to visit Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia on October 28 and 29, respectively.

In Belgrade, he was set to meet with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Lavrov on October 26 returned from Athens, where he held meetings with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, and the leader of the opposition Coalition of the Radical Left Alexis Tsipras.

Russia has the fourth-highest coronavirus caseload in the world, with more than 1,540,000 registered infections, including over 26,000 deaths.

Amid a steady rise of infections in recent days, Russian authorities tightened restrictions on October 27, including with a nationwide mask mandate in crowded public spaces, on public transport, in taxis, and in elevators.

The federal public health agency, Rospotrebnadzor, also recommended that regional authorities put a curfew on entertainment events, cafes, restaurants, and bars from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, Reuters, AP, and AFP

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.