Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has tested positive for Covid-19, with the test result confirmed during his visit to the country’s far eastern region.

A minstry spokesperson said that Novak has exhibited no symptoms during the trip, “feels well” and will continue to work remotely.

Novak is scheduled to participate in an online meeting of the Opec+ Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee that is set to discuss the compliance in oil output cuts on 19 August, according to the spokesperson.

Along with other Russian ministers, Novak travelled to the far east of Russia at the end of the last week together with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

The goal of the visit is for Mishustin, who was appointed earlier this year, to familiarise himself with large remote regions of Chukotka, Kamchatka, Magadan and Amur.

The Kamchatka and Amur regions are set to gain increased importance within the Russian gas industry, with country’s largest independent gas producer, Novatek, building a liquefied natural gas transshipment terminal on the eastern side of the Kamchatka peninsula.

Gas monopoly Gazprom is also building a large processing plant in the Amur region to bring billions of cubic metres of gas to market specifications before it is exported to China.

Mishustin tested positive for Covid-19 at the end of April but was able to return to work in the second half of May.

Russian vaccine

Last week, President Vladimir Putin reported the registration of a Russian-made Covid-19 vaccine and said it had been tested on a daughter from his first marriage.

However, Russian government officials have denied an earlier report from Bloomberg that top Russian governmental officials had been vaccinated against Covid-19 before its official release.

A research institute said in its publications that it is in the third and final stage of testing the vaccine, which is expected to provide protection against the coronavirus for a period of two months.

Russian health authorities reported that almost 4900 new Covid-19 cases were identified on 17 August, taking the total number of infections close to 930,000 people.