Busy Schedule Precludes Putin's Visit to Memorial Service for Karimov

President Vladimir Putin will not attend the funeral of late Uzbek leader Islam Karimov on Saturday because of the busy schedule at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The Russian delegation will be headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

VLADIVOSTOK (Sputnik) — The possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Uzbekistan to attend memorial service for late President Islam Karimov was considered, but it was precluded by the busy schedule of the Russian leader, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Sputnik on Saturday.

"[Putin] will not attend [the funeral] due to the schedule. He cannot miss the plenary session [at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The way to Samarkand from here would take more than seven hours, it is physically impossible," Peskov said adding that different options that could have facilitated Putin's visit had been considered.

The government of Uzbekistan confirmed that Karimov died at age of 78 on Friday. The Uzbek leader was hospitalized last Saturday after suffering a stroke. Karimov’s funeral will be held in his native city of Samarkand on Saturday.

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