Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov showed up in shorts on the Indonesian island of Bali after media reports of an alleged hospital stay. His spokeswoman Maria Zakharova published a video in Nusa Dua on Monday showing the minister reading on a terrace with palm trees and the sea in the background.

Spicy: Many US objects can be seen in the photo, which is supposed to prove Lavrov’s health. Lavrov sits on a terrace with palm trees and the sea in the background. The 72-year-old wears a T-shirt with the words Basquiat after the US artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who died in 1988.

According to Basquiat’s biographers, the artist was not only American, but also bisexual – while the Russian leadership regularly hates homosexuals. There is also an iPhone on the table in front of him.

Lavrov is taking part in the meeting of the 20 major economies as the highest-ranking Russian politician because, according to the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin cannot come due to time constraints. Because of his war of aggression against Ukraine, which has been overshadowed by defeats, Putin is bound as commander-in-chief in the country.

“We will adopt the final declaration tomorrow,” Lavrov said in his ministry’s video. At the same time, he explained that negotiations on the final document of the G20 summit were ongoing. The Indian Foreign Minister had just called him about further coordination. Russia is likely to look primarily at the wording of its war against Ukraine. In the G20, for example, China is Russia’s ally.

Lavrov had previously said on the sidelines of the summit of the Southeast Asian community of states ASEAN in Cambodia that a joint final declaration there had failed due to the dispute over the wording of the situation in Ukraine. The US and Western colleagues had insisted on “absolutely unacceptable language regarding the situation in and around Ukraine”.

After the Asean meeting, he traveled on to Bali, where he was greeted by dancing women and soldiers at the airport on Sunday. Media reports circulated on Monday that the minister had been taken to the hospital.

“We are here with Sergey Viktorovich in Indonesia and read the ticker and can’t believe our eyes,” said ministry spokeswoman Zakharova in Nusa Dua on the island of Bali. This is now the highest form of fakes, she said. A little later she published the video that shows Lavrov sitting at a small table. Apparently, Lavrov wanted to refute the reports about his alleged stay in the clinic.

“Our President has been written about for ten years as being ill. This is such a game that is not new in politics,” said Lavrov. The media, citing Western secret services or informants, had reported on various serious illnesses of Putin without any evidence. The Kremlin announced that Putin was not missing anything. Experts point out that the dissemination of such information is popular with secret services, for example to portray authoritarian politicians as weak and vulnerable.

Lavrov called on the Western media in particular to report “more honestly” and “more often the truth” and not one-sidedly. In contrast, the USA and the EU repeatedly accuse Lavrov and the Russian media of targeted lies, propaganda and disinformation. Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said he had no information on Lavrov’s hospitalization. “Maybe check with the Russians,” he said.