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Putin set to visit Turkey after break in travel

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November 28, 2012 11:09 AM EST | AP


MOSCOW — The Kremlin says Vladimir Putin will visit Turkey next week, a trip that follows an unusual break in the Russian president's travel that has fueled speculation about his health.

Putin's office announced Wednesday that the one-day visit to Istanbul Monday will focus on economic issues.

Putin was expected to visit Turkey in October, but he postponed that and several other foreign trips, and spent most of the past two months at his suburban residence, visiting the Kremlin only rarely. The hiatus in travel has triggered a swirl of rumors about Putin's condition.

One newspaper report claimed Putin had injured his back in a widely publicized flight with Siberian cranes in a motorized hang glider in September. His spokesman denied that and said that Putin pulled a muscle during judo training.