(Added statements of the cardiac surgeon, background information)
ASTANA/ALMA-ATA, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Former Kazakh President Nazarbayev has undergone heart surgery and is not life-threatening, his spokesman Aidos Ukibay said on Friday.
“Operation was successfully completed. There is no threat to the life of the first president. Now he is under observation. The operation took place at the National Scientific Cardiac Surgery Center under the guidance of the famous cardiac surgeon Yuri Pya,” the press secretary of the first president wrote on Twitter.
A former Soviet apparatchik, Nazarbaev, 82, ruled a country of 19 million people from 1989 until his sudden resignation in 2019.
During a briefing for journalists, cardiac surgeon Pya explained that the operation lasted about 2.5 hours.
“This is not an operation, but a procedure, a diagnostic and treatment procedure was carried out …, in the near future, an extract, perhaps today or tomorrow,” Pya said.
The doctor did not name Nazarbayev’s diagnosis, citing medical secrecy.
“… The heart, as it worked independently, is still working, and will work for a long time to come. I will say that there was no pacemaker,” Pya said. (Maria Gordeeva with the participation of Tamara Vaal. Edited by Anastasia Teterevleva)