US President George W.Bush started the day by laying a wreath to the Grave of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall. Accompanying Bush were his National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow, and Russia's deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov.
A ribbon on the wreath of white chrysanthemums and irises bore an inscription that read, "From the US President on behalf of the American nation." The ceremony was held to the sound of the US and Russian state hymns.
After the ceremony, Bush shook hands with the commander of the honour guard and exchanged a few words with him.
Straight from the Alexander Garden, the US cortege headed for the Kremlin, where Bush is now conversing with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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