May 01, 2002

The Moscow Summit

Last fall, in the aftermath of the September 11 bombings and just prior to the US-Russian summit in the US, Russian Life Executive Editor Mikhail Ivanov spoke with Georg`y Bovt, deputy editor-in-chief at the authoritative daily newspaper, Izvestia (Russian Life, Nov/Dec 2001). As a seasoned and respected “Amerikanist,” he offered a well-informed and realistic perspective that many readers told us they appreciated. We therefore thought that a “sequel” interview with Bovt on the eve of the May summit in Moscow might offer an excellent opportunity to revisit our previous discussion and look even further into the future.

Russian Life: It is always interesting to take a look at what happened after one has made a prediction and see how well it fit with reality. Last time we talked (Russian Life, Nov/Dec 2001) was shortly after September 11, in the run-up to the Texas summit. We anticipated that the two leaders might at least establish the same kind of rapport that President Bush has with, say, British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Did they succeed in this?

Georgy Bovt: Yes, in Texas the two leaders managed to establish a good rapport, to the extent it was possible, of course, for both Bush and Putin are rather private, reserved persons. I mean, even now it is not likely they would go to a banya together. But if, say, Putin played golf—we know he prefers skiing—I feel they would play golf together. 

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