Russian President Vladimir Putin is self-isolating after members of his entourage fell ill with Covid-19 and will therefore not travel to Tajikistan this week for planned regional security meetings, the Kremlin said.

Mr Putin, 68, was due to travel to Tajikistan for high-level meetings of the CSTO and SCO regional alliances with the rapid deterioration of security in neighbouring Afghanistan in focus.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Mr Putin had called Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmon to explain he could not travel due to his self-isolation regime and would take part in the meetings via video link instead.

"Putin said that due to cases of coronavirus in his entourage, he has to observe a self-isolation regime for a certain period of time," the Kremlin said in the statement on the phone call.

The Russian leader has taken an array of health precautions throughout the pandemic and has had two doses of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine.

He said he hoped this would protect him.

"I hope everything will be as it should be and that Sputnik V will in practice show its high levels of protection against Covid-19", Mr Putin said via video-link during a government meeting.

The Kremlin said he is "absolutely healthy" and does not have Covid-19.

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