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Russia: U.S. Takes Kremlin's Word On Yeltsin Health

Washington, 28 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - The United States says there is no reason to question official Russian reports about the health of Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who is recovering from pneumonia.

White House spokesman Michael McCurry said yesterday the United States has no information that contradicts what Kremlin officials have said about Yeltsin, who has been told to refrain from air travel and to work at home. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said today that Yeltsin is still handling all key domestic and foreign policy matters.

McCurry said the United States continues to work with the Russian government at many levels of authority and that the bilateral relationship goes on regardless of who holds the Russian presidency.

McCurry added that no date or place has been set yet for a planned meeting between Yeltsin and U.S. President Bill Clinton. In December, the White House said the presidents would meet in the United States in March. Today, McCurry said the United States expected the meeting to take place, but he did not cite a specific time period.

He says the meeting probably will be discussed when Chernomyrdin comes to Washington next week for talks with Vice President Al Gore.