Vladimir Putin and George Bush met in Camp David on Friday evening (it was Saturday morning in Moscow), says presidential press secretary Alexei Gromov. The two presidents discussed the development of bilateral cooperation in word and in deed, as well as some acute international problems which they will address in greater detail on September 27. Putin, Bush and their delegations also had an informal meeting.
The Russian delegation arrived in Camp David in two stages. First two Chinook helicopters landed at the Camp David heliport, with a Sikorski VH-3D helicopter carrying Vladimir Putin touching down several minutes later. George Bush welcomed the Russian president. Both leaders were in suits but without ties and went to the residence in an unusual caravan of 15 golf carts. The presidents went to the house where Vladimir Putin will be lodged.
The welcoming party also included National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, as well as the guard of honour consisting of 20 Marines and Navy sailors. The Russian president is accompanied by Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo, and deputy chief of the Kremlin staff Sergei Prikhodko.
The Camp David meeting of Putin and Bush is their ninth meeting altogether and they hope that it will boost bilateral relations, which is especially important on the eve of the election year in the two countries.