- Feb 12, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
I always had my doubts about Putin because he always looked so stern and reserved. What did you all think of the interaction between Putin and Bush? Do you think this will have an impact on US/Russia relationship and where do you think it might lead?
Feb 25, 8:54 AM (ET)
By ANNE GEARAN
WASHINGTON (AP) - Vladimir Putin, the former KGB officer at the helm of Russia's fitful democratic experiment, and George Bush, leader of the world's most powerful democracy, delivered dueling civics lessons Thursday on the principles of free societies.
Though cordial as they stood side by side, Bush and Putin addressed serious differences over what the West views as erosion of recent democratic freedoms in Russia.
At a news conference following their lengthy meeting in Slovakia, the leaders at first highlighted agreements designed to counter the spread of both conventional and nuclear weapons.
Neither stuck to the script.
"I live in a transparent country," Bush said at one point. "I live in a country where decisions made by government are wide open."
"The implementation of the principles and norms of democracy should not be accompanied by the collapse of the state and the impoverishment of the people," Putin said at another point. "The implementation and the strengthening of democracy on the Russian soil should not jeopardize the concept of democracy."
The leaders were responding to reporters' questions, but their remarks contained implicit criticism of one another's systems and expectations.