The Russian government is relaxing its quarantine requirements to meet with President Vladimir Putin as presidential elections approach.
Individuals who wish to meet with Putin in person are required to quarantine for a period of time before their interaction.
The Kremlin announced that the quarantine period is being lowered from two weeks to five days as presidential election season draws closer, according to The Moscow Times.
The reduced restrictions are most likely related to the upcoming March 2024 presidential elections — Putin is expected to win his fifth term.
Putin is one of the few world leaders still screening his meetings for COVID-19 concerns.
The Russian president regularly holds government meetings over video calls in order to skip quarantine protocol for high-ranking officials. The entire Russian government has reportedly not met in person since March 2020.
Putin has traveled extensively recently and met with various world leaders domestically and abroad.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news outlets this month that there is no competition against Putin ahead of the next presidential election next year.
“We have repeatedly said that President Putin is undoubtedly the number-one politician and statesman in our country,” said Peskov.
“In my personal opinion […] he has no rivals at the moment and cannot have any in the Russian Federation,” the spokesman added.
Putin oversaw military drills Wednesday, including the simulation of a nuclear strike, more than 20 months since Moscow’s forces invaded Ukraine.
The Kremlin’s announcement of the exercise, which simulated a nuclear strike in response to a nuclear attack and involved multiple practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles, came hours after the upper house of the Russian Parliament revoked the ratification of a global nuclear test ban in what Moscow has described as a move to establish parity with the United States.
The bill to end ratification will now be sent to Putin for final approval. The lower house approved it last week.
Russian state television showed Putin directing the exercise via video call with top military officials.
Fox News Digital’s Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.