Soul mates? Hardly

THE Bush-Putin summit, the last item on the US president’s itinerary during his Europe tour, has been turned into some kind of showdown. The fact that the US leader began his Europe tour by attacking Putin’s democratic record or rather the lack of it set the mood for his eventual encounter with the Russian leader.

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Published: Fri 25 Feb 2005, 11:38 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:43 PM

Not long ago, when Bush first came face to face with Putin in Slovenia, he claimed to have got a peek into the Russian leader’s soul ("I was able to get a sense of his soul" in Bushspeak).

But both Bush and Putin have come a long way since their first encounter four years ago. Today, the US leader is increasingly concerned over the direction Russia is taking under the former KGB operative. The Putin Kremlin’s autocratic style of functioning and undermining of Press freedom and basic rights hasn’t gone too well with Washington. When the leader of the world’s only superpower finally met the representative of the former superpower yesterday, they were far from the soul mates they once claimed they were. They don’t see eye to eye any more. It may not be a return of the Cold War but America and Russia have definitely drifted poles apart as they had been before Gorbachev happened to Soviet Union.

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