Bush, Putin to Lock Antlers on Missile Defense

Russian president will host US counterpart for April 6 summit
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2008 6:27 PM CDT
President George W. Bush announced today that he is accepting President Vladimir Putin's invitation to meet in the Russian resort city of Sochi to discuss a proposed US missile defense system.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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(Newser) – President Bush accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin's invitation today to continue the two nations' often strained talks over a proposed US missile defense system in central Europe. The two heads of state will meet April 6 in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, the Washington Post reports, for likely the last time before Putin changes jobs May 7.

Putin has denounced Bush's plan to install 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic, arguing it would weaken Russia's nuclear capabilities. Bush remains "optimistic" about the plan. And in other nuclear-superpower news today, Bush phoned Chinese leader Hu Jintao to clarify that a 2006 shipment of nuclear warhead components to Taiwan was indeed a mistake.