Sunday, July 16, 2006

Thanks, But No Thanks

Guess this honeymoon is over: "'I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul.'" Scotland on Sunday (07.16.06):
"Presidents Vladimir Putin and George Bush exchanged barbed remarks yesterday at the start of a summit, confirming that relations between Moscow and Washington are at their lowest point since the Cold War. It was all there in the body language. The two arrived for a press conference at the summit venue in St Petersburg with gloomy expressions, and the reasons were soon clear." Cold War echoes as Putin clashes with Bush at G8
"Russia's attempt to persuade America to let it into the World Trade Organisation - Russia is the biggest economy outside the group - had collapsed in the early hours of the morning. "America's refusal was a humiliation for Moscow, whose finance minister Alexei Kudrin had been reported declaring the talks a success two days before. President Bush said of this: 'Evidently there was a false report.'" Evidently. We're sure the Russkis appreciated being hung out to dry on this one. Yet another success story? "Then came the issue of democracy. Russia is smarting from weeks of criticism from Washington about Putin's alleged backsliding on democracy. Bush rubbed salt in the wound on Friday: within minutes of getting off the plane he had a meeting with 15 human rights groups that accuse Putin of being an autocrat." I and my meet me and mine. "Yesterday Bush returned to the subject: 'I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world like Iraq where there's a free press and free religion,' he said of his morning talks with Putin. 'And I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same thing.'" "This was too much for Putin, who shot back: 'We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq.'" "Laughter broke out among the hundreds of watching journalists but Bush wasn't smiling." According to the AP, "Bush's face reddened as he tried to laugh off the remark."


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