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Friends again but little to show in US/Russia summit

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Friends again but little to show in US/Russia summit

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The American and Russian presidents engaged in water sports off Kennebunkport at the Bush family estate in Maine on Monday. The summit between the two is intended to repair fences damaged in the months of political disagreements that led up to it, and that is working in part, with Presidents Bush and Putin appearing relaxed and personally friendly.

However little progress has been reported, and only today remains to dispel doubts on both sides about the other’s reliability as an international partner. Differences still loom over Iran, Kosovo, human rights and democracy, and the American missile shield plan.

On the missile issue Putin did offer a range of proposals Bush described as “innovative”, proposals Putin claimed would take Russo-American relations to a “totally new level”. They might also involve Europe getting involved in the project, via NATO. For the record, Putin claimed bragging rights as he was the only member of the party to catch a fish.