Vladimir Putin: relations between Russia and USA to reach absolutely new level

Vladimir Putin stated that the relationship between Russia and the USA had reached an absolutely new level. It mostly concerns matters of security, strategic arms reduction, the two countries' participation in building a new safe world and the quality of relationship of trust between the two countries.

"I am glad to point out that this visit differs greatly from all the earlier visits paid by other US presidents. If all previous meetings were intended to overcome disagreements or their aftermath, today we can speak about a brand new relationship," said Putin, speaking at an enlarged Russian-American negotiations in the Kremlin.

Putin believes that this progress has been made during the last months - 12 or 18 months - with great help and support of this project from President Bush and his administration. "We are especially glad to see you in Russia, Mr. President," Putin said to his American counterpart.

Putin expressed confidence that George Bush's visit "would be very fruitful and give a powerful incentive for the development of bilateral relations." Russia's president also pointed that he remembered the cordiality with which George Bush had received him in the USA, at home /on his rancho in Taxis/, in particular.

Vladimir Putin said that he would do his best to do the same.

"You are welcome, Mr. President. We are glad to see you in the capital of Russia, in its heart - the Moscow Kremlin," said Putin to Bush.

Bush in his turn thanked Vladimir Putin and his team for holding a "highly important discussion" and signing bilateral documents, which prove that "we were friends".

This removes "the mistrust and suspicion" and opens a new era in the relationship between Russia and the USA, said US President.

Bush also said that he would accept Vladimir Putin's invitation to visit his home "with great pleasure". "This is a very important sign for the whole world," he added and explained that he meant friendly relations between the presidents of the two countries.

At first the negotiations will be held in an official atmosphere and later "we will have dinner as friends", US President pointed out. He congratulated Vladimir Putin and his team on the work they had been doing in order to "make steps towards a peace treaty".

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