Officials: Yeltsin’s Health Improving
MOSCOW (AP) _ Boris Yeltsin’s aides said Monday the Russian president appeared to be recovering rapidly after nearly a week in the hospital for heart problems.
``Boris Yeltsin gives the impression of a recuperating man,″ senior aide Viktor Ilyushin said after an hour-long visit in the Central Clinical Hospital. ``I did not expect Boris Nikolayevich to start getting better so soon.″
It was the 64-year-old Yeltsin’s first working meeting since entering the hospital last Tuesday, the Interfax news agency reported.
Ilyushin said he agreed with the doctors’ decision to keep Yeltsin in the hospital for observation this week. He said Yeltsin would hold several afternoon meetings with top officials, following medical treatment in the mornings.
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev also said Yeltsin was feeling better.
``I am no doctor, but I can confidently say that Boris Yeltsin’s health is improving,″ Kozyrev told Interfax.
Yeltsin was admitted to the hospital for what was described as acute heart pain. Aides initially said he would be hospitalized only one week, but then announced Friday that he would stay an additional week because doctors wanted to reduce his stress.
``Specialists believe that the patient must continue to undergo scheduled treatment in a hospital environment, where he has everything necessary for his work,″ presidential spokesman Sergei Medvedev said in a statement to news agencies.
Yeltsin signed a number of documents further opening Russia’s airspace to international flights, ordering the government to help farmers harvest their crops and setting up a body to inspect bread production.
Symptoms described by the Kremlin indicate he probably has a form of heart disease called unstable angina, in which narrowing of arteries diminishes the blood supply to the heart.
Few people have seen the president since he was hospitalized, not even Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, who would take over if Yeltsin dies or is incapacitated. There have been no independent reports on his condition or statements from his doctors.