Russian President Vladimir Putin has appeared in public for the first time since 5 March, quelling intense speculation about his health.
He was meeting Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev in St Petersburg.
Commenting on the rumours about his health, Mr Putin said "things would be boring without gossip", RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Earlier, Mr Putin ordered Russia's navy on to a state of full combat readiness in the Arctic.
Russia says the navy drills involve 56 warships, planes and 38,000 personnel.