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Austria Says Yeltsin Cancels Trip

October 26, 1998

VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ Russian President Boris Yeltsin has canceled a visit to Vienna for talks with European Union officials, the Austria Press Agency reported today.

Yeltsin was due here Tuesday for the EU-Russia summit. He and EU officials were to discuss Russia’s economic crisis as well as Kosovo and other European issues.

Yeltsin, 67, had been suffering from a respiratory infection that forced him to cut short a trip to Central Asia earlier this month. Doctors pronounced him fit after a medical checkup last week, but the Russian president still has not returned to work full time in the Kremlin.

In a dispatch from Luxembourg, APA quoted a foreign ministry spokesman, Johannes Peterlik, as saying the Austrian government was told today that Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov would be making the visit instead.

No reason was given for the cancellation. Monday is Austria’s main national holiday and officials here could not be reached for comment.

Peterlik was in Luxembourg for a meeting of EU foreign ministry officials.

In Moscow, Primakov’s spokesman Andrei Korotkov said he had no information on the report. Yeltsin’s press secretary said earlier that Yeltsin was working at his country residence today, preparing for the Austrian trip.

Yeltsin has been weakened by recurring health problems in recent years, including heart bypass surgery in 1996. The president and his doctors insist that Yeltsin will serve out the less than two years that remain of his term.

Russian media have speculated that Yeltsin will not undertake any more foreign trips, but the Interfax news agency said today that a visit to India in December was still on.

Yeltsin also plans several meetings in November with foreign guests, including Japanese Prime Minister Keijo Obuchi, German Chancellor-elect Gerhard Schroeder, Italian president Oscar Luigi Scalfaro and Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, Interfax said.

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