Going through the motions: The two presidents grimace for the cameras in 2005.
George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin used to have a loving relationship, but the two have grown cold and distant in recent years. Bush blames Russia’s deteriorating democratic process, while Putin is upset because the U.S. wants to build a missile shield on his doorstep. Bush’s friend Condi stopped by Moscow to try to smooth things over, but it looks like it didn’t go too well.
Just read this curt and hurt response from the Russian president: “One day you and I may decide that missile defense systems can be deployed on the Moon, but before we get there the possibility of reaching an agreement may be lost because you will have implemented your own plans.”
After high-level talks in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia saw the shield as a “potential threat” and wanted to “neutralise” it.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denied any threat to Russia, saying she wanted both countries to work together.
Earlier, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin signalled he would not support American plans.
He urged Washington “not to force” a planned deployment - of a radar in the Czech Republic and interceptors in Poland - on Russia.