( Ukpress ) - US President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have opened their farewell talks.
Mr Bush says he has come to respect his Russian counterpart and appreciate his frankness.
The two leaders are meeting in a guest house at the Russian's holiday home in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
President Bush told Mr Putin that he was a strong leader who was not afraid to say what was on his mind.
Mr Putin said they would conduct their talks "in a common working manner".
The two leaders had a lot of unfinished business on their agenda with time running out on an often testy seven-year relationship.
The Russian president said they had started discussing security issues and bilateral matters over dinner on Saturday and would continue their talks "in a common working manner".
The White House has ruled out chances of resolving differences over US missile defence plans for Europe
However, the two men hope to chart a course for better ties between Washington and Moscow after they leave office - Putin next month and Bush in January 2009.
Bush was also to have his first in-depth talks with Putin's hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, who takes charge in Moscow on May 7.