Yeltsin cancels Dutch visit on doctors' advice


THE Russian President, Mr Boris Yeltsin, has cancelled a visit to the Netherlands on the orders of his doctors, a Kremlin spokesman said yesterday.

A spokesman said doctors had advised Mr Yeltsin, who is recovering from pneumonia at an official residence outside Moscow, to refrain from air travel and to work at home. "Because of this, agreement has been reached with the government of the Netherlands and the chairman of the European Union to postpone the visit to the Netherlands. It will take place in Moscow in the near future."

Mr Yeltsin had been due to hold talks in The Hague with the Dutch Prime Minister, Mr Wim Kok, on, February 4th. Mr Kok is the current president of the European Union.

Aides have said the President is recovering well from the pneumonia, which struck just two weeks after he returned to the Kremlin following a major heart operation. They say he his following affairs of state and working on papers, including an address to both houses of parliament due to be delivered next month.

Interfax news agency yesterday quoted the Prime Minister, Mr Viktor Chernomyrdin, saying that Mr Yeltsin was looking at both domestic and international policy. "The President is returning to good form and will be in good form," he said.

Mr Chernomyrdin said last week that the President would be back in the Kremlin soon. But doctors, urging him not to rush his return to work, say he should wait two or three weeks.

In Bonn, German government officials said yesterday said they knew nothing of a report in Bild newspaper saying they were concerned that Mr Yeltsin might have Parkinson's Disease.

The report said that symptoms such as facial rigidity, a slowing down of limb movements and uncontrolled mouth movements had increased over the last two years.