Russian ex-prime minister says Kremlin enemies may be behind his mystery illness

Other News Materials 7 December 2006 14:04 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - A former acting prime minister said Thursday that enemies of Russia might have been involved in the sudden illness that struck him last month, reports Trend.

Yegor Gaidar, 50, an architect of economic reforms in post-Soviet Russia, began vomiting and bleeding from the nose before fainting at a conference in Dublin November 24.

He was discharged from a Moscow hospital Monday, although Russian doctors were unable to identify the exact cause of his illness.

In an interview with the Vedomosti business daily, he said that if it was an attempt on his life, it could only have been related to politics.

"Who in Russia would stand to gain from my death on November 24, 2006 in Dublin? After some consideration, I immediately dismissed the theory that the Russian leadership might have been involved in what happened. After Alexander Litvinenko's death November 23 in London, yet another murder of a well-known Russian the following day was the last thing Russia's ruling authorities would have been interested in," he said.

He said overt or covert opponents of the Kremlin apparently were to blame - those who are interested in seeing a further worsening of relations between Russia and the West.

Gaidar, now head of the Institute for the Economy in Transition, remained unconscious for three hours. He was taken to an intensive care unit near Dublin and then transferred to a Moscow hospital.

His spokesman said earlier that doctors could not qualify his illness as poisoning because no toxic substance had been found.

Following Scotland Yard's probe into the lethal radiation poisoning of a Russian security service defector, Alexander Litvinenko, Irish police launched an investigation into the Gaidar incident Friday.

On Saturday, Irish medical experts said they found no traces of radiation in Gaidar's body.