The Kremlin denied Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is in a relationship with another woman, following his announcement Thursday night that he and wife Lyudmila are divorcing after almost 30 years of marriage.
"No, it's not like that," presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov told a reporter who asked him about rumors that Putin is having an affaire with another woman.
"It's not hard, even without being an expert, to look at how many hours of work Putin puts in to understand that his life, unfortunately, is in no way tied to a romantic relationship," the spokesman said.
The president's life, according to Peskov, "is tied up only with his duties, with his responsibilities as head of state."
As to the possibility of the president remarrying in the near future, Peskov said the suggestion is all "rumors and gossip."
The spokesman asked people not to meddle in the Putins' private life.
The president and first lady announced their separation to a reporter on Russia 24 television during the intermission of a performance of the ballet "La Esmeralda" in the Kremlin.
"Lyudmila Alexandrovna and I will continue to be friends. Always, I'm sure," said Putin, who associated their separation with his wife's distaste for being a public figure.
For her part, Lyudmila Putina said, "Yes, you can say this is a civilized divorce. Really, it has been a mutual decision."
Vladimir Putin and Lyudmila Skrevneva married on July 28, 1983. The couple's two daughters, Maria and Yekaterina, are both in their 20s. EFE