Presidents of Russia and the USA Vladimir Putin and George Bush will hold talks in the Kremlin on Friday. The talks will begin in the Green Parlour of the Grand Kremlin Palace at 10.00 Moscow time. Before that George Bush will lay a wreath at the Unknown Soldier's Tomb near the Kremlin wall.
At first the presidents will converse in the narrow format - with the participation of Russian Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo and the US president's national security assistant Condoleezza Rice alone.
Then the Presidents will be joined by their delegations in St. Catherine's Hall of the Palace. Russia will be represented by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo, Vice-Premier and Minister of Agriculture Alexei Gordeyev, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence Igor Ivanov and Sergei Ivanov, Economic Development and Trade Minister Gherman Gref, Energy Minister Igor Yusufov, Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev, Rosaviakosmos chief Yuri Koptev, and representatives of the presidential administration.
The ceremony to sign Russian-US documents will take place in St. Andrew's Hall of the Kremlin Palace after the end of the talks, after which the presidents of the two countries will meet with the press.
A meeting of the two presidents with representatives of the Russian-US business community in the Kremlin is also planned.
An official lunch on behalf of the president of Russia is scheduled for approximately 14.00 Moscow time.
On Friday night Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin will arrange a supper in honour of George and Laura Bush at the Novo-Ogarevo residence near Moscow. As Prikhodko noted, this event will have a "personal format" and will be a response to the hospitality accorded by the Bush spouses to the Putins at their Texas rancho during the visit by the president of Russia to the USA.
On Saturday, May 25th, the contacts of the presidents of Russia and the USA will continue in St. Petersburg where the "white nights" season is beginning at this time of the year.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969