Yeltsin Goes to Spa to Continue Recovery : Russia: An aide says the Kremlin leader will work longer and receive more visitors than at hospital. The severity of his heart ailment is still unclear.
Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin left a Moscow hospital Monday after a month of treatment for heart disease and secluded himself in a suburban health resort to continue his recovery, his spokesman reported.
There was no television footage of the 64-year-old leader’s move, no medical update on his condition and no information on how long he is supposed to stay under medical care at the Barvikha sanitarium 12 miles west of the capital.
Presidential spokesman Sergei K. Medvedev said Yeltsin will work longer hours at the resort and receive more visitors than he did at the Central Clinical Hospital after easing into a routine of official duties two weeks ago.
Yeltsin was taken to the Kremlin-run hospital Oct. 26 suffering from what aides called myocardial ischemia, a constriction of blood and oxygen flow to the heart. He was stricken, his wife said, because he had cut two weeks from a prescribed six weeks of treatment after a bout of the same illness in July.
There were signs Monday that Yeltsin is again eager to get back to an unfettered work schedule.
Russia’s Interfax news agency, quoting an unnamed source, said Yeltsin is considering flying to Paris next month for the signing of a peace accord among the three factions in the Bosnian war if President Clinton and the leaders of Britain, France and Germany decide to attend.
The report indicated that Yeltsin might be pressing doctors to let him out of bed to go share credit for ending the war. Aides have said Yeltsin wants to host a follow-up conference of the Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian leaders next month.
But Interfax’s source added that Yeltsin would send his prime minister or foreign minister to Paris in his place “if doctors have any doubts about his condition.”
The Itar-Tass news agency said Monday without attribution that Yeltsin’s stay at Barvikha, a facility on the Moscow River that served as a country spa for Soviet leaders, could last a month.
Kremlin doctors and aides have avoided the word infarkt , Russian for heart attack, to describe Yeltsin’s illness. But independent medical specialists say two months’ convalescence is unusual for a heart patient in Russia unless he has suffered a serious heart attack.
Yeltsin looked pale and slurred his words in a heavily edited film clip in the hospital Nov. 3 but has appeared much healthier in all six subsequent appearances before the cameras. On Friday, he railed on TV against what he called wild campaign promises, mudslinging and “attack ads” by candidates in the Dec. 17 parliamentary elections.
The vote is a test of support for Yeltsin’s free-market reforms, and the Russian leader has said he will decide after studying the results whether to seek reelection in June. His wife, after firmly opposing another term in remarks last spring, sounds torn now.
“As a human being, I would not like him to be president even now. It is a heavy burden,” Naina Yeltsin told reporters Monday in Paris, where she is attending a U.N. forum on child welfare.
But when she thinks about other candidates for the job, she said, “I worry about our future. . . . On the one hand, I would like Boris Nikolayevich to become president again because he deserves our trust. On the other hand, I do not want this to happen because it is bad for his health. Let’s wait and see.”