White House

June 5, 2007 3:00 AM

Bush to Putin: Join us on missile defense

President Bush gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a double-edged message Tuesday, reassuring him that he has nothing to fear from a missile-defense system that he abhors, then slapping him verbally for backsliding on democratic reforms. Bushs words threatened to inflame his already tense relationship with Putin and to overshadow the Group of Eight Summit that opens Wednesday in Germany. Bush said he intends to tell Putin when the two leaders meet Thursday at the G-8 summit that the U.S. plan to build a Europe-based missile-defense system poses no threat to Russia. My message will be, Vladimir I call him Vladimir that you shouldnt fear a missile-defense system, Bush said after meeting with Czech leaders at the ninth-century Prague Castle. As a matter of fact, why dont you cooperate with us on a missile-defense system? Why dont you participate with the United States?

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