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World - Europe

Yeltsin says feels fine, heart 'working like clock'

Yeltsin

August 16, 1999
Web posted at: 4:07 a.m. EDT (0807 GMT)

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin said on Monday his heart was "working like a clock" and pain he had experienced for about three years was gone.

Yeltsin, who had quintuple heart bypass surgery in 1996 and has been plagued by other health problems, was talking to Russian journalists in the Kremlin ahead of a parliamentary vote on his choice of prime minister, Vladimir Putin.

Yeltsin nominated Putin a week ago, saying that he also wanted the 46-year-old former spy to become Russia's next president. Under the constitution, the prime minister would take over temporarily as president if the latter dies in office, is impeached or is otherwise incapacitated.

Yeltsin, 68, said that for about three years he had been suffering from pain, Itar-Tass news agency reported. It was in the area of the heart but was coming from a damaged nerve, he said, comparing his suffering to endless tooth ache.

Doctors at an elite military hospital, which he visited last week, had helped and now there was "no pain, or nearly none," he said.

RIA news agency quoted Yeltsin as saying this was a big event for him. Interfax news agency quoted him as saying his blood pressure remained normal even at a time of crisis. "My heart is working like a clock," he said.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.



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