Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 35

President Boris Yeltsin’s press secretary, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, has angrily denied media reports that the president’s wife, Naina, has urged Yeltsin to leave office because of the state of his health. Yastrzhembsky also denied a report that he himself had not seen Yeltsin in person for "several weeks." Yastrzhembsky said that the journalist who reported both these stories — Aleksandr Gamov of Komsomolskaya pravda — is being stripped of his Kremlin press accreditation. Yastrzhembsky also denied that yesterday’s cancellation of Yeltsin’s regular Tuesday meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin had anything to do with the president’s health; he said Yeltsin was "too busy" to meet Chernomyrdin this week and that the two men talked by telephone instead. (Interfax, February 18) But Yastrzhembsky refused even to comment on a report carried by the London Times on February 15. Citing what it said was information supplied by one of Yeltsin’s bodyguards, the British newspaper reported that Yeltsin is showing clear signs of Parkinson’s disease, is incontinent, and cannot walk even a few yards unaided. (Kommersant-daily, February 18)

Albright Proposes NATO-Russia Brigade.