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Yeltsin Sick Again

Russian President Boris Yeltsin is back in hospital for a week after doctors suspected he may have pneumonia.

Russia’s 68 year old leader has been politically sidelined for much of the year through ill health is taking no chances and will spend a week Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital.

Last week the Kremlin advised that Yeltsin had bronchitis and a viral infection which prevented him from signing a union treaty with Russia’s neigbour Belarus.

Yeltsin had a heart bypass operation in 1996 and has often been ill over the past 18 months with pneumonia last year and a bleeding stomach ulcer earlier this year.

Yeltsin has endured so many recent health complaints over the last few years that financial markets, which once slumped at any sign of illness, now shrug them off. Markets in Russia were already closed Monday before the latest news emerged.

Illnesses kept Yeltsin away from his Kremlin offices for much of the first half of this year and have sharply curtailed his public appearances and travel abroad.

ends

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