US, Russia president ready for one-on-one meeting

( AP ) - Is a tense meeting in the cards for President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin? "Could be," even Bush admits.

The leaders saw each other Wednesday night for the first time since their dispute over putting a U.S. missile defense system in Eastern Europe flared into Cold War-style rhetoric and sent Russia-U.S. relations sliding to their lowest point in decades.

Bush and Putin are attending a summit of the world's eight major industrialized democracies, which opened with an evening of cocktails, dinner and entertainment with spouses at a rural manor.

Their meeting Thursday held the promise of less crystal, more candor.

Washington is getting fed up with Putin for overseeing what the U.S. perceives as an era of muzzled dissent.

Bush this week put Russia on a par with China, calling U.S.-Russian ties "complex" and criticizing democracy as being "derailed" under Putin.

The remarks carried extra sting because they were delivered publicly and in the Czech Republic. The former Soviet satellite threw off communism in 1989 and is a NATO member, along with other Eastern European nations - which has become a thorn in Russia's side.

The stepped-up criticism from Bush came as Moscow offers strong objections to the proposed missile shield.

Bush administration officials have tried to lower Russia's anger.

Even Putin's warning that a new shield could require Russia to retarget missiles toward Europe earned only a muted reaction from Bush. He dismissed Putin's bellicose talk, suggesting it could be bluster intended more for internal political consumption in Russia, which holds elections next year.

There are other items on the disagreement list, notably Russia's unhappiness with U.S. support for independence for the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo. Russia bristles at what it sees as U.S. meddling in its affairs and its traditional sphere of influence.

Moscow has shown more willingness of late to help the West take on Iran over its nuclear program. Washington wants to preserve this momentum.

"It's a long agenda, reflecting I think the many areas in which the United States and Russia cooperate," said Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser. "They will also, of course, talk about the issues where the United States and Russia do not, at this point, see eye to eye."

The Russians projected a similar air. They said the open hostility was part of a constructive relationship. Yet they reaffirmed disagreements with Washington's view of Russian democracy and dissatisfaction with its arguments for the shield.

Putin next month will become the first world leader during Bush's presidency to come to the Bush family's summer compound on the Maine coast. The two - once so close in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks - last met in November, in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Bush was beginning his day with a farewell meeting with departing British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Blair, the president's closest ally in Europe, is holding out hope that he can bridge an impasse between Bush and some of the other countries over climate change. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as summit host, is pushing for specific, binding targets for reducing carbon emissions; Bush is against them.

In between, Bush and the other leaders planned to discuss issues ranging from Africa aid to trade and Lebanon.

The rhetoric began this year when the U.S. chose the Czech Republic and Poland as the missile defense sites and roused Russian suspicions.

Bush is visiting both countries on his eight-day European trip. He has insisted the shield is planned to block any future Iranian nuclear missiles, not Russian ones.

Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said these were "insufficient explanations" and promised "uncomfortable consequences," such as possible missile retargeting, if the shield is deployed "next to our borders" without more acceptable ones.

But, he added: " Russia is the last country in this world who is thinking about confrontation or starting another Cold War."

Simon Serfaty, director of European Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Putin is overplaying his hand.

"This is a passing moment of post-imperial nostalgia for Russia," he said.

Stephen Sestanovich, a Russia expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, said Putin needs to tread carefully because Russia's relations with Europe are taking a dive, too. "Will the G-8 meetings deepen this crisis? Almost surely not," Sestanovich said. "The G-8 is not a forum for deepening crises."

The summit is being held under tight security in Heiligendamm on northern Germany's Baltic coast. Some 800 protesters made it to a 7-mile, razor-wire fence encircling the summit town on Wednesday, while 10,000 more reached areas where demonstrations had been banned.

In addition to the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland, Bush also intends to visit Italy, Albania and Bulgaria.

Uzbekistan, Afghanistan to jointly attract funds for transport corridors dev’t in Central Asia
Uzbekistan, Afghanistan to jointly attract funds for transport corridors dev’t in Central Asia
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan agree on resumption of flights
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan agree on resumption of flights
Cargo transportation between Uzbekistan, Afghanistan grows despite decline in int'l trade
Cargo transportation between Uzbekistan, Afghanistan grows despite decline in int'l trade
Loading Bars
Latest
Intel reports 4 pct drop in third quarter revenue
U.S. sanctions three new Iranian organizations for alleged election disinformation
Israel says Gazan militants fire 2 rockets into southern Israel
Turkey confirms 2,102 daily COVID-19 patients, 355,528 in total
Moscow records another 62 coronavirus deaths
Trump tests negative for coronavirus ahead of debate: aide
France extends curfew as COVID second wave surges in Europe
Armenians commit provocation during sanctioned protest action of Azerbaijani youth in Poland (PHOTO)
WHO reports record daily rise in coronavirus cases across the globe
ANAMA disseminates info on missile attack on Azerbaijan’s Kurdamir by Armenia (PHOTO)
Car exports to Israel declines, Turkish Trade Ministry
Situation when significant part of Azerbaijan's territory is lost can't last forever, Vladimir Putin
Armenia discloses number of servicemen killed by Azerbaijani army
We already started to plan our future agricultural development with respect of liberation of territories - President Aliyev
Without normalization of relations with Turkey and with Azerbaijan Armenia has no future - President Aliyev
If Armenia makes constructive steps and liberate territories of course, we will open all communications - President of Azerbaijan
Popular Front Party, and Musavat Party going against national interests of Azerbaijan - President Aliyev
With TAP pipeline everything is on the schedule, says president of Azerbaijan
If any country assumes role of mediator, this country must be neutral, says Azerbaijani president
International monitors, peace-keeping forces one of last issues, which had to be addressed - President Aliyev
All the regions of Azerbaijan must be liberated, says President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijan is fighting itself, we don’t need any foreign fighters - President Aliyev
There will be no referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh - President Aliyev
If we are attacked, we must not only defend ourselves, but also launch a counter-attack - President Aliyev
Our refugees and internally displaced persons must return to all the occupied territories - President Aliyev
We must have decisive say about international monitors, says Azerbaijani president
If Minsk Group for 30 years cannot produce results, it speaks for itself - President Aliyev
WHO roots for rapid diagnostic tests to boost COVID-19 war in Africa
Kazakhstan to boost export of agricultural products to SCO markets
Int'l organizations informed about rocket attacks on Azerbaijani regions (PHOTO)
Morale of Azerbaijani army personell at high level - Azerbaijani MoD (VIDEO)
With this Armenian government unfortunately, prospects for peaceful settlement very remote - President Aliyev
More military equipment of Armenian armed forces destroyed (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani flag hoisted in Agbend village of Zangilan district (VIDEO)
Central Bank presents forecasts for Uzbekistan’s macroeconomic dev’t
Kazakhstan, Romania trade turnover increases despite COVID-19
With liberation of Aghband settlement, taking full control over Azerbaijani-Iranian state border ensured - President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijani Army liberates 3 villages of Fuzuli district, 4 villages of Jabrayil district - President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijani Army liberates 13 villages, Aghband settlement of Zangilan district - Azerbaijani president
Russia continues to make active efforts to resolve Karabakh conflict - MFA
OIC Parliamentary Union condemns Armenia's attack on Azerbaijan's Ganja
Azerbaijani RabitaBank's assets for 9M2020 grow
Morocco decreases import of Turkish cars
Uzbekistan, Afghanistan to jointly attract funds for transport corridors dev’t in Central Asia
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan agree on resumption of flights
Armenia's tries to present its position as "peaceful" - total nonsense, Azerbaijan says
Iran to offer loans to support industrial production
Isbank Georgia talks about its cooperation with IFC
Restoration of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan - undoubtedly legitimate process - Georgian expert
Adidas plans to sell ailing Reebok business within months
Cargo transportation between Uzbekistan, Afghanistan grows despite decline in int'l trade
Export of cars from Turkey to France down
Yerevan's foreign policy only possible if Armenia accepts it needs to make peace with Azerbaijan - Svante Cornell
Turkish Trade Ministry says export of domestic cars to China up
Georgia sees increase in price of medicines
Turkmenistan’s geographic location offers potential for country’s economy, says US Embassy in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan Rabitabank’s net profit for 9M2020 revealed
National Bank of Georgia takes another steps to stabilize lari exchange rate
Procedure for calculating total amount of insurance premiums approved in Azerbaijan
Turkey's export of cars to US edge lower
Karabakh hostilities cause direct disruption to health care amid COVID-19 - WHO
Import of Turkish cars by Azerbaijan declines
Yerevan must withdraw troops, mercenaries and terrorists from Azerbaijan - Turkish Defense Minister
Azerbaijan reveals data on imports for 9M2020
Germany's nine-month import of cars from Turkey down
Apples emerging as export crop for second year in Georgia
Azerbaijan reveals 9M2020 trade turnover volumes with major partners
Nagif Hamzayev: Azerbaijan writes new pages in the world military history
Turkey's 9M2020 export of jewelry to Ukraine doubles
Azerbaijani artillerymen continue to make precise strikes at firing points of Armenian armed forces (VIDEO)
Tender: Khazar Consortium to buy materials for smooth operation of oil field facilities
Int'l organizations miscalculate military arsenal of Armenia - MP
Turkmengas opens tender for purchase of equipment
Uzbekistan’s 9M2020 export volume of fruits, vegetables revealed
MagtiCom leads with highest ARPU rate in Georgia
New apartments inagurated in Iran
Azerbaijan's overall exports for 9M2020 unveiled
Kazakhstan to increase electric vehicles manufacturing by 2022
CO2 emissions prevented in Kazakhstan as renewable energy projects launched
Revenues of mobile operators in Georgia down
Uzbekneftegaz launches condensate stabilization unit at Uzbek oil field
Azerbaijani Embassy in Russia clarifying issue on prohibiting Azerbaijani citizens to use Pobeda Airlines' services
Uzbekistan launches mineral-based engine oil production
Trend News Agency's editor-in-chief tells CNN Turk about ongoing tension in Karabakh (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Russia almost halves jewelry imports from Turkey
Azerbaijan’s AzerGold taking measures on legal assessment of illegal mining in occupied territories
Azerbaijan starts reconstructing roads leading to liberated villages of Tartar (PHOTOS)
Georgian Caucasus Auto Import adds new export markets
USAID promotes warehouse digitization of Turkmen logistics company
Uzbekistan eyes to increase cars export by 4Q2020
Uzbekistan’s private business actively involved in agriculture digitalization
Sanctions must be imposed on Armenia, says Lebanese legal expert
Attacking civilians unacceptable, Israeli ambassador says
Armenia opens additional flights to transfer volunteers to Karabakh (PHOTO)
Number of people infected with COVID-19 pandemic in Iran exceeds 550,000
Azerbaijan's president says Armenia receiving external help, including mercenaries, weaponry
Your statements every evening about how many villages, cities have been liberated from occupation bring joy to people all over Turkey - Turkish Chief Ombudsman
Azerbaijan confirms 171 more COVID-19 recoveries
Turkmenistan's import of Turkish jewelry surges
Value of Azerbaijan's goods export by road edges down
All news