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Russia: Yeltsin's Health Improving

Moscow, 16 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Kremlin issued a statement today saying Russian President Boris Yeltsin's condition continues to improve.

Yeltsin's condition was reported to have "significantly stabilized" as the Russian president spent his ninth day in hospital with double pneumonia. The Kremlin said X-rays of Yeltsin's lungs showed a good trend towards recovery. Yesterday, doctors said Yeltsin would remain at Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital at least through the end of the week. Yeltsin's wife, Naina Yeltsin, who was also hospitalized at the same hospital with influenza, was released today.

Meanwhile, leading deputies in Russia's State Duma decided today not to include a motion to oust Yeltsin on their agenda. The Duma Council, which groups the heads of parliamentary factions and committee chairmen, did not discuss the issue. Opposition Communist and nationalist polticians had called for a motion to unseat Yeltsin, saying he has not worked since winning re-election this summer. But the Russian constitution, drawn up by Yeltsin himself and approved by a popular referendum in 1993, is vague on the circumstances under which Russia's president can be deemed to ill to hold office.