The Seduction of George W. Bush – Foreign Policy
Many Russians see George H.W. Bush as a respectful statesman who helped relations and cooperation in international security,” Putin said. Bush was astonished that Putin had tried to influence him by offering to juncture in the volatile Russian-American relationship, with Moscow. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton held a cautiously optimistic "I don't have a bad personal relationship with Putin. [.
The atmosphere was one of friendly co-operation with the two leaders getting on far better than expected. The warmth of the meeting surprised many. The first handshake looked stiff and awkward, but after well over an hour of talks they came out smiling with Bush inviting the Russian leader to visit his ranch in Texas.
Bush described their meeting as straightforward and effective.Arrivals of Bush and Putin, handshake between two.
He said it was time to move beyond Cold War attitudes, away from mutually assured destruction towards mutually earned respect. I was able to get a sense of his soul. He's a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country and I appreciate very much the frank dialogue and that's the beginning of a very constructive relationship," Bush said.
Putin also seemed to suggest these two very different leaders had built up a rapport. Echoing Bush he called the United States Russia's partner. But Germany and France were opposed, seeing it as unnecessarily provocative, and at a key meeting, Rice, then secretary of state, and Robert Gates, the defense secretary, expressed caution.
Instead, he and Rice recommended a halfway step that would encourage Ukraine and Georgia by encouraging their aspirations without the more formal step that would precipitate another blowup with Germany and France. Bush disagreed and resolved to make a deal with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, calculating that the French would follow Berlin. But during a videoconference, Merkel refused to go along. That could be awkward depending on what happened in Bucharest, so Bush was reluctant to accept the invitation.
Putin agreed, and Bush accepted the invitation. Once he got to Bucharest, Bush ran into stiff resistance from Merkel, but leaders of several Eastern European countries physically surrounded her at the meeting, arguing for a stronger statement. Bush took that as a victory, but both Russia and Georgia were unhappy and itching for a fight. A long-running conflict between the two neighbors was turning hot.
It was their 28th and final meeting as presidents, with Putin preparing to step down in favor of his handpicked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, while taking up the post of prime minister. Russian troops were marching into neighboring Georgia after the smaller country shelled a breakaway republic aligned with Moscow. Years of tension had finally exploded into full-fledged war. As he absorbed the news, Bush noticed that just a few places ahead of him in the receiving line was Putin.
Bush chose not to say anything to him right then, reasoning that the ceremony presented the wrong venue for a confrontation over war. Besides, protocol demanded that he deal with Medvedev as a fellow head of state. So he waited until he returned to his hotel to call Moscow.
The Seduction of George W. Bush
But Bush was dealing with the wrong man. As the opening ceremony for the Olympics commenced, Bush found himself seated in the same row with Putin, so he had his wife and the king of Cambodia shift down a few seats so that the Russian prime minister could sit next to him. Aware of the television cameras focused on them, Bush tried to avoid causing a scene but told Putin that he had made a serious mistake that would leave Russia isolated if it did not get out of Georgia. Putin countered that Saakashvili was a war criminal who had provoked Moscow.
He and his aides worried that Georgia was just the first stone to fall; if Moscow were allowed to roll over a weak neighbor, then it could next try to seize the Crimea region in Ukraine or even make a move in the Baltics, where it ruled until the fall of the Soviet Union. On the other hand, the last thing Bush wanted to do was turn a volatile situation into a Russian-U. Meetings at the White House during that week of war were unusually emotional.
When a junior aide suggested that the United States had to step in, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, interrupted. He did not want another, especially with Russia.
Mullen was virtually the only American able to reach his counterpart in Moscow. Most Russian officials were ignoring their phones, but Mullen had perhaps seven or eight conversations with Gen.
When US and Russian presidents meet - a timeline of relations
Nikolai Makarov, the Russian chief of staff, over the course of a few days, trying to keep the Russians from marching all the way to the Georgian capital. To avoid framing it as a proxy clash between nuclear-armed superpowers, Bush turned to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, who held the rotating presidency of the European Union, and asked him to negotiate a ceasefire.
In the meantime, some in the White House kept looking for possible responses — even military ones.
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- When US and Russian presidents meet - a timeline of relations
They discussed the conflict in Syria, on which they didn't see eye-to-eye. Putin and Obama did have similar interests in keeping Iran and North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons, which they also discussed.
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But tensions between both leaders began to rise after Obama canceled a meeting originally scheduled for later that year due to Russia giving asylum to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden after he leaked classified documents. And their relationship continued to sour from there. It was one of several informal meetings the two leaders had as they crossed paths on the world stage over the years. Another example was at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg in September The two reportedly discussed military action and involvement in Syria and Ukraine, and didn't come to agreement on either conflict.
The two reportedly discussed a ceasefire in Syria, but that "gaps of trust" between the two countries prevented a peace deal. During one of their frosty interactions in Beijing, Obama said he told Putin to "cut it out" — referring to Russia's meddling in the US presidential election.
Trump also stopped by Putin's seat next to first lady Melania Trump at dinner during the summit, and discussed adoptions. In retaliation against the law, Putin banned American adoptions of Russian children.