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Serbia's Vucic Leaves Hospital After Heart Problem 'Caused' By 'Inappropriate' Media Questions


Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (file photo)
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (file photo)

BELGRADE -- Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has checked out of a hospital where he had been admitted after experiencing heart problems, the public TV broadcaster reports.

Vucic's health was "stable" and he was "released home," RTS reported on November 18.

His office has said that the president had been hospitalized at a military hospital in Belgrade on November 15 for "cardiovascular problems."

"Doctors saved his life on Friday," Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar told local media on November 17. "On admittance, it was estimated that his life was threatened."

Officials and pro-government media say Vucic's condition worsened following "inappropriate" questions by journalists about allegations of corruption by government ministers.

Suzana Vasilljevic, Vucic's media adviser, and Goran Vesic, the deputy mayor of Belgrade, among other officials, alleged that "journalists [had] pressured the president too much" with questions on a murky arms deal between Serbia and Saudi Arabia on which a Serbian whistle-blower had reported.

The 49-year-old president had said he would return to work on November 18.

It was the first time it has been officially disclosed that Vucic suffered from heart problems.

The Balkan country maintains strong political and economic relations with Russia despite a proclaimed goal of joining the European Union.

Vucic has been Serbia's president since 2017. He has faced accusations of curbing media freedoms and democracy.

Under the president's watch, according to France-based Reporters Without Borders, "Serbia has become a place where practicing journalism is neither safe nor supported by the state."

With reporting by AFP and dpa