Bush Failed to Shake Putin / News / News agency Inforos
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Bush Failed to Shake Putin

and evidently did not want to

Bush Failed to Shake Putin
The 16th meeting in a series between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President George Bush was held in the Slovakian capital Bratislava on February 24.

Contrary to the experts' opinion, who predicted hard going and poignancy of the meeting, it was held in a frank and friendly atmosphere, though the two leaders, as experts assumed, had to discuss and ask each other a number of disagreeable questions.

During the talks that continued more than had been planned the two presidents discussed the dates for Russia's entering the WTO, cooperation in the nuclear field, agreed on a rise in the Russian oil delivery to the US and the supply of liquefied gas from Russia to the United States to start in 2008.

It is noteworthy that Bush did not follow the advice of those who had been urging him to publicly criticize Russia when discussing questions of Russia's developing democracy. The US president only remarked that Russia should not give up democracy, and any disputes with "capital" had to be settled "in a peaceful way". The Russian President promised Bush to further democracy, and said that "14 years ago Russia herself made a choice in favor of democracy". The Russian President also emphasized that democratic institutes "should develop adequately to our history and our tradition", and the implementation of democracy "should not be accompanied by the collapse of the state and pauperization of the people".

In the end Bush said that he trusted his Russian colleague.

"Mr. Putin can be trusted when he speaks about his full commitment to democracy and that there is no backtracking on it in Russia. I believe that he is a firm believer in democracy, and I appreciate it", Bush said, adding that over the past four years he had had ample opportunity to verify that if Putin says something, he does it.
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