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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Meets Chief of Staff in Kremlin

Giving further signs he's unwilling to be written off as an invalid, President Boris Yeltsin went to work Friday in the Kremlin, meeting with his new chief of staff, Nikolai Bordyuzha.

It was only the second time he has come to the Kremlin since being hospitalized for pneumonia Nov. 22. On Monday, he made a dramatic three-hour foray into the Kremlin from the hospital to fire his chief of staff and several other top officials in what appeared to be an attempt to show he's still functioning.

Since then he has moved to the Rus country residence 100 kilometers outside Moscow to continue his convalescence.

Friday's activity was more evidence that Yeltsin, while still a part-time president, was capable of holding meetings and making decisions. He discussed ways to make the Kremlin administration work more effectively with Bordyuzha, who took over from the fired Valentin Yumashev, press spokesman Dmitry Yakushkin said.

Yeltsin also held a phone conversation about the 1999 budget with Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, Interfax quoted Yakushkin as saying. In addition, Yeltsin awarded the order of St. Andrew the First-Called to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who had his 80th birthday Friday.

The president recorded a radio address for broadcast Saturday, the Kremlin said. He had been in the habit of giving a Friday morning address but halted the practice as his health and political standing worsened.

Yeltsin has suffered a string of illnesses and political reversals that have called into question his ability to govern the country. He says he will remain until the end of his term in 2000, but his Communist opponents say he should resign.

Primakov has assumed responsibility for the day-to-day management of the economy - a situation that appears not to have changed despite Yeltsin's brief bursts of activity.

The Constitutional Court sided with Yeltsin on Friday in a dispute with the Communist-dominated State Duma, parliament's lower house, ruling that the president can nominate the same candidate for prime minister three times in a row. If the Duma refuses a third time, it is dissolved and new elections are held.

The Duma had argued that once a candidate is rejected on a first vote, the president must abandon that nominee and choose another. In April, Yeltsin pushed through Sergei Kiriyenko's nomination for prime minister on three votes, leading to the Duma's appeal.