• ACI Russia

08/15/1998 15:01:38 FOCUS-Fishing a reason for Yeltsin Moscow return

(Adds Kremlin spokeswoman)

MOSCOW, Aug 15 (Reuters) - President Boris Yeltsin has

returned to the Moscow area to continuing a vacation which poor

fishing in the northern lakes has rearranged but turmoil in

Russia's financial markets will not be allowed to disrupt, the

Kremlin said on Saturday.

"He's just come to vacation in a different place. As he said

yesterday he was not catching good fish, just little ones," said

spokeswoman Ludmila Krylova.

Yeltsin travelled on Saturday from the Valdai region of

northwest Russia to his Rus hunting lodge, 100 km (60 miles)

northwest of Moscow, a short helicopter ride from the Kremlin.

"He will carry out the rest of his holiday there. It

apparently will be until the end of next week," the spokeswoman


During a short visit to Novgorod on Friday Yeltsin

complained about the poor fishing he had experienced during the

last month on vacation. The weather in the area was rainy with

an early autumn chill.

"It's been raining and there are few fish. They were so

small," he said, extending two fingers to demonstrate the puny

size of his catches.

The Russian president, who appeared confused at times on

Friday and had trouble recognising a close aide at one point,

was adamant about not interrupting his holiday because of recent

sharp falls on Russian markets.

"I definitely should not come back (to Moscow) now," Yeltsin

said. "That would signify that there was turmoil, that would

signify that there was a disaster and that everything was

collapsing," he said.

U.S. President Bill Clinton who urged Yeltsin by telephone

on Friday to act quickly to stem the turmoil, which sent share

prices tumbling and treasury bill yields soaring, sparking fears

for the fragile banking system.

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