Kommersant is running a column today by Andrey Kolesnikov, which speculates on the details of yesterday’s Bush-Putin lunch at the Vnukovo-2 airport in Moscow.
Yet, Putin obviously needed that meeting before Hanoi. Russian president was sympathetic about Republican failure in midterm elections to US Congress. It is rumored he took that misfortune as his own, but it seems to me, however, Putin can hardly imagine anything like that in his own country. Yet, Putin certainly understands the results of the midterms might bring trouble to him as well. Every now and then, Democrats introduced resolutions to the Congress which were blocked by Republicans. Democrats wanted to tie up Russia’s G8 membership with human rights issues in Russia, for instance. Other resolutions concerned Mikhail Khodorkovsky case, or denouncing Russian law on NGOs. Democrats will probably try to triumphally accomplish what they’ve begun, and US president only can stop them, if he vetoes their draft resolutions. Thus, Putin wanted to persuade Bush that the latter should definitely act so, and that’s what Putin did during the dinner.