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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Completes Ulcer Recuperation

President Boris Yeltsin has recovered from a bleeding ulcer and is planning a busy schedule for the rest of the week, his spokesman said Wednesday.

"The president has finished a course of recuperation and is feeling fine," spokesman Dmitry Yakushkin said at a Kremlin briefing.

Yeltsin worked in the Kremlin on Wednesday and met with his aides, he said.

On Thursday, the president is scheduled to meet with Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, who arrived in Moscow on Wednesday for a four-day official visit.

"This visit should be seen as a continuation of the strategic partnership that has developed between Russia and China," Yakushkin said.

On Friday, Yeltsin will attend a summit in Moscow of the four-nation alliance of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, which is intended to promote closer economic ties.

The leaders of the four nations are expected to incorporate another former Soviet republic, Tajikistan, into the alliance, and sign agreements on a customs union and other issues, Yakushkin said.

Following a two-week hospitalization with a bleeding ulcer last month and convalescence at a sanatorium and at home, Yeltsin has been increasingly active, making frequent forays to the Kremlin, though mostly for routine and ceremonial duties such as meeting aides and foreign leaders and signing documents.

His political role remains sharply reduced in the wake of the Aug. 17 ruble collapse and ensuing political crisis, and most acknowledge Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov as the country's day-to-day leader.

Yeltsin has been sidelined by a steady string of illnesses, which forced him to cancel several foreign trips, including a visit to France set for last month.

He interrupted his recuperation on Feb. 8 to make a one-day trip to Jordan for the funeral of King Hussein - his first foreign trip since he cut short a visit to Central Asia in October because of illness.

Yakushkin said Yeltsin is still planning to travel to France at the end of March, although no specific date has yet been set.

In his first statement about his plans for the presidential race, Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov said Wednesday he has a strong chance of winning the next presidential election, scheduled for summer 2000, The Associated Press reported.

Zyuganov, who lost to Yeltsin in 1996, said he expects Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov to be his main rival in the race. Luzhkov hasn't yet formally announced his candidacy, saying only that he may run.

Prime Minister Primakov has recently topped opinion polls, but Zyuganov said he probablywouldn't emerge as a presidential candidate because of Russia's economic turmoil.

Zyuganov said he would win because of the "existence of a well-matched team, a detailed program to overcome the country's crisis and people being sick and tired of liberal reform."