There is nothing like a fishing trip to revive old friendships. But the promise of a big catch may not be enough to bring the US President and his Russian counterpart closer together. Vladimir Putin arrives at the Bush family estate in Maine on Sunday amid tensions that have evoked comparisons to the Cold War.
Analyst Michael O’Hanlon says the White House cannot afford to let its charm offensive fail. “The main thing is to cool tensions and interject some positive personal chemistry back into their relationship. That would help, because this is an issue, the missile defense issue, in particular where frankly the whole rhetoric has gotten out of control and built on itself- especially from president Putin.”
US and Russian officials have described the meeting as informal and stressed that big announcements are unlikely on some of the difficult issues, such as a proposed US missile shield in Europe and independence in Kosovo.