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Russia: Foreign Minister Undergoes Successful Surgery

Moscow, 18 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who was hospitalized earlier today, underwent successful surgery to remove gallstones.

Itar-tass said the operation was conducted at Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital and went on without complications.

Doctors said Primakov was in good condition and was expected to return to work in 10-15 days.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Valery Nesterushkin said Primakov's first deputy, Igor Ivanov, would replace him during his absence. Nesterushkin also said the only change in Primakov's schedule was the cancellation today of a planned meeting with Portugal's Foreign Minister Jaime Gama, who arrived in Moscow on Wednesday.

Gebhardt von Moltke, deputy to NATO Secretary General Javier Solana, was expected in Moscow today to prepare for a new round of talks in early May between Solana and Primakov on Russia's future relations with NATO. It is not clear if that visit will go forward.