George W. Bush photo

Remarks Prior to Discussions With President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Moscow, Russia

May 08, 2005

President Putin. Mr. President, allow me to cordially welcome you to Moscow. I'd like to thank you for having decided to visit Moscow to participate in the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, giving confirmation by that fact to the immense role played by the United States, Soviet Union, and Russian Federation in the victory over nazism.

Tomorrow we'll be pleased to receive our guests of ours, but the visit by the President of the United States is of special importance. On top of that, even today, we've enjoyed a very large volume of cooperation between our countries. And I hope that this cooperation will be helpful to us in addressing our domestic problems in both countries.

And I'm aware of the fact that you currently are confronted with immense tasks with respect to social sphere. [Laughter] So if we are very positive in addressing those energy-related and security-related questions, that will be very helpful in addressing the problems which are confronted by people in the street in our countries. Besides, I recently visited the Middle East. Therefore, I'd like in this conversation with you today to compare the notes regarding the current state of the Middle East.

President Bush. Vladimir, thank you for having me. It's such an honor to be here. This locale where we are is a place where the President welcomed me and Laura 2 years ago, and it's great to be back here. I am looking forward to the celebration tomorrow. It is a moment where the world will recognize the great bravery and sacrifice the Russian people made in the defeat of nazism. The people of Russia suffered incredible hardship, and yet the Russian spirit never died out.

I'm equally grateful that you would take—invite me and Laura for dinner tonight. And having had one of your meals before, I'm looking forward to this one a lot.

President Putin. Recently I took a look at the coverage of your meeting with the press corps. Well, I could see how Laura attacked you sometimes, so at today's dinner we will have a chance to protect you. [Laughter]

President Bush. She was quite the comedienne. But I'm looking forward to— Russia is a great nation, and I'm looking forward to working on—together on big problems. And I want to thank you for your work on Iran and the Middle East, and there's a lot we can do together. And so thank you for having us.

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 7:45 p.m. at Novo Ogarevo, the Putins's residence in Moscow.

George W. Bush, Remarks Prior to Discussions With President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Moscow, Russia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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