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Russia: Kremlin Says Yeltsin In Satisfactory Health

Moscow, 4 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The Kremlin said today in a press statement that Russian President Boris Yeltsin is in satisfactory health as he prepares to undergo heart bypass surgery.

The statement, signed by chief Kremlin doctor Sergei Mironov, also said preparations for the operation, which has yet to be scheduled, are practically over.

Yeltsin's doctors are expected to discuss his readiness for a multiple bypass heart operation today and to set a date for the procedure. U.S. heart specialist Michael DeBakey, who arrived in Moscow yesterday, has said Yeltsin's surgery could happen as soon as this week. Russian doctors have not announced a date.

Russian cardiologist Renat Akchurin, who trained under DeBakey, is leading the Russian operating team. DeBakey said before leaving for Moscow that he and three other American doctors will serve as consultants but will not take part in the operation.

Yeltsin has been staying at the Barvikha sanitorium outside Moscow in preparation for the surgery. The Russian president is due to temporarily hand over power to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin during the operation.