Kremlin upbeat over outcome of Bush-Putin talks

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Moscow, Apr 6: Kremlin today welcomed the key outcome of the summit between the US President George W Bush and outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying both sides showed willingness to seek a compromise on the main disputes.

''This meeting between the presidents ended on a positive note,'' an anonymous Kremlin source told RIA Novosti here. ''The most important result of the meeting was not statements of disagreements, but on the contrary, the demonstrated will to search for points of contact, and develop bilateral dialogue,'' the source said. Bush and Putin failed at their talks at the Black Sea resort of Sochi today to make a breakthrough over the differences on US plans to deploy a missile shield in Central Europe.

After their talks, Putin told journalists that although he and Bush continued to disagree on missile defence, ''there was some positive progress.'' ''Our concerns were heard by the American side, first at the March '2+2' meeting, and then today, in the conversation with President Bush,'' he added.

Putin said he believes Bush is seriously and sincerely seeking to resolve the problem. ''We fully support this attitude,'' he added.

The Kremlin source said that at Bush's meeting with Russian President-elect Dmitry Medvedev, who will assume office on May 7, the sides showed a desire to continue along the current direction of the Russian-US relations.

''The sides agreed that the search for compromises will be actively continued,'' he said.

After meeting Medvedev, Bush called him a ''straightforward fellow,'' pointing out he looked forward to working with him when he assumes office.

He said their next meeting would likely be at the G-8 summit in Japan on July 7-9.

A document released after the meeting said the countries would continue to work on a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to replace START-1, which would expire in December, and that both Moscow and Washington remained committed to reducing their strategic arms to a minimum.


UNI

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