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Thursday, December 23

Ya think old Vladimir feels the same way about bushie?

THE PRESIDENT: As you know, Vladimir Putin and I have got a good personal relationship, starting with our meeting in Slovenia. I intend to keep it that way. It's important for Russia and the United States to have the kind of relationship where if we disagree with decisions, we can do so in a friendly and positive way. (answering first question at news conference on Monday)

Today: Putin again slammed US-led plans to press ahead with elections next month in Iraq and said it was the height of hypocrisy for Western governments to criticize Russia for pursuing its interests in neighbouring former Soviet republics.

"Today according to our estimates there are nine cities in Iraq where there are hostilities but they still want to carry out elections," he said, condemning European elections monitors' plans to observe the poll from Jordan as a "farce".

"We do not understand how there can be an election in a country under conditions of total occupation... It's absurd. It's a farce. Everything is upside down."

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