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Chernomyrdin Says Yeltsin Feeling Normal

Moscow, July 15 (RFE/RL) -- Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin told reporters today that President Boris Yeltsin's health is normal and that he is resting.

Chernomyrdin made the comment after Yeltsin canceled a planned morning meeting with visiting U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

In announcing the cancellation this morning, Yeltsin spokesman Igor Ignatiev said Yeltsin had "just decided to take a vacation" at his dacha in Barvikha, "with the goal of restoring his strength after a tense electoral campaign." He denied that Yeltsin was suffering from health problems. Press secretary Sergei Medvedev later said the Gore-Yeltsin talks would take place tomorrow at Barvikha.

Gore confirmed he had learned of the postponement only this morning. He declined to elaborate, telling journalists, "I just gave you my comment."

Gore later held talks with Chernomyrdin ahead of the opening session of the Russian-American commission on economic and technological cooperation. The two men co-chair the commission, which is due to start its seventh session today. Topics to be covered include nuclear and biological weapons, the peaceful use of atomic energy and joint Russian-American space research.