Putin refuses to leave self-isolation

Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to restrict face-to-face contacts despite the fact that the self-isolation regime in Moscow has been lifted, said Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov during a briefing on Thursday.

According to Peskov, Putin uses video link to communicate with subordinates and there is no specific date when he will return to normal work. "It will depend on his decision," Peskov said, adding that "this time is just around the corner."

"Some elements of the current mode of communication in terms of time-saving, in terms of the speed of organizing such meetings can be partially used at different levels in the future," Peskov said, stressing that video conferencing "helps in optimizing work" because "it allows to quickly gather all participants, including from regions, without calling them to Moscow".

Putin works in his residence in Novo-Ogarevo and it is impossible to get to the president without testing for coronavirus, Peskov said in late April.

Peskov stressed that rumors that the president had "taken refuge" somewhere, in particular, "in some bunker" had "nothing to do with reality."

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced the lifting of coronavirus restrictions in Moscow from June 9. Although the Mayor was determined to keep the measures in force, the decision was made at the "request from the very top". Sobyanin was asked to hurry because of the vote scheduled for July 1 on amendments to the Constitution, sources close to the mayor's office and the presidential administration told Meduza news outlet.

According to one of them, Putin personally spoke with Sobyanin on June 6-7 after the meeting of the Russia Security Council, the officials pointed to discontent among Russians, which sociologists linked to fatigue from the isolation regime.

"This is now a priority for the Kremlin. By the voting day, people should more or less relax, move away from quarantine, rather than vote immediately after lifting the restrictions in an embittered state," said a source close to the political bloc of the mayor's office.

  Putin, COVID-19, coronavirus