Doctors suspect ex-Russian premier was poisoned

Doctors treating former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar believe he was poisoned, an aide said Thursday. Gaidar, 50, who served briefly as prime minister in the 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin and is one of the leaders of a liberal opposition party, began vomiting and fainted during a conference in Ireland on Friday, and was rushed into intensive care at a hospital. "Doctors don't see a natural reason for the poisoning and they have not been able to detect any natural substance known to them" in Gaidar's body, spokesman Valery Natarov said. "So obviously we're talking about poisoning (and) it was not natural poisoning." Natarov said Gaidar was feeling better Thursday. "His condition is stable and improving. Doctors say there is no threat to his life at the moment." Gaidar's daughter, Maria, said President Vladimir Putin had called her father on the phone to inquire about his health and wish him a smooth recovery. Gaidar fell ill after the poisoning of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died in London just one day before Gaidar fell ill. Another former KGB spy who met with Litvinenko on the day he was allegedly poisoned, Andrei Lugovoy, served as Gaidar's bodyguard at one point. Gaidar's illness has added strands to a growing