Bush and Putin meet before the celebration

As he prepared to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/letters/2002/06/03/29581.html ' target=_blank>Nazi defeat, President Bush said yesterday that the United States sacrificed the freedom of small nations during the postwar period in its eagerness to bring stability to Europe.

U.S. choices then contributed to the rise of the Soviet empire, Bush said, a period he called "one of the greatest wrongs in history."

On the eve of a visit to Moscow to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, Bush escalated an increasingly pointed long-distance debate with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the true legacy of the end of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2001/09/28/16485.html ' target=_blank>World War II. With Putin refusing to renounce the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states, Bush expressed contrition for past U.S. mistakes, reports the Seattle Times.

According to the Washington Post, Bush marked the 60th anniversary of the May 1945 signing of the Berlin armistice that ended the war in Europe in a solemn remembrance at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, where 8,301 U.S. veterans are buried.

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