President Boris Yeltsin is in excellent physical condition, is mentally "quite vigorous," and has no health problems that would prevent him from seeking re-election if he wants to, his American heart consultant said today.

Dr. Michael DeBakey, who consulted on Yeltsin's quintuple bypass operation in November 1996, said he expected the 67-year-old Yeltsin to live for a long time."It was a great pleasure to see the president and to see how well and vigorous he looked," DeBakey told reporters after spending two hours with the president.

"It was very gratifying to find that his heart is functioning so well and that his general health is excellent."

DeBakey said he did not perform a physical examination on Yeltsin, and based his optimistic comments on observations, conversations with Yeltsin's doctors and the results of a recent exam.

"I find him not only physically in excellent condition but also mentally quite vigorous," DeBakey said.

He said he would expected Yeltsin to have "a long survival expectancy."