The Washington Times - April 6, 2008, 12:54AM
Russiastory in today’s paper SEE RELATED:


President Putin

One day before Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to receive President Bush this weekend for the last meeting between the two leaders, the former KGB agent allowed himself to reflect on the end of his presidency.

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“These were complex years both in Russia’s history and in the relations of Russia with its neighbors,” Mr. Putin said of his eight years in office, at an hourlong press conference near the end of the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania.

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“These were years of the rebirth of Russia as a powerful and independent state with its own views, and the dialogue was and is not easy,” he said.

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Russia’s resurgence as a world power and Mr. Putin’s political muscle have been on display in the past few days, even as he prepares to hand over power, formally at least, to a handpicked successor next month.

Jon Ward, White House correspondent, The Washington Times