The UK was so concerned with the frequent heart attacks that Russian President Boris Yeltsin had in 1995 and his addiction to drinking alcohol that contingency plans were already drawn up in anticipation of his death while in office. This was revealed on Tuesday from the files made public. According to documents released from Britain’s National Archives, after the second heart attack for Yeltsin, the Foreign Ministry started preparing mourning statements in fear of his health.
Yeltsin held a summit with US President Bill Clinton in Hyde Park, New York on October 23, 1995. On the same day, Ambassador Andrew Wood in Moscow wrote a document about Yeltsin’s health in New York, in which he said ‘He (Yeltsin) drank a lot in Hyde Park and then regretted his absence at a ceremony. ‘
Yeltsin was taken to a hospital in Moscow on October 26 after suffering a heart attack. He had a second heart attack within four months. Britain was upset because if Yeltsin died in the midst of a period of diplomatic negotiations, extraordinary political confusion would have arisen. Despite poor health, Yeltsin remained in power until December 1999. He died in 2007 at the age of 76.