President Bush and Vladimir Putin ended their last meeting as heads of state today by agreeing they like each other—and little else. Washington had hoped the Black Sea summit would yield a compromise over US plans to build a missile defense shield in eastern Europe. “We’ve got more work to do to convince the Russian side that the system is not aimed at Russia,” Bush said.
With Putin stepping down next month, and Bush next January, the two leaders signed a “road map” to “intensify dialogue” on finding a missile shield compromise. Diplomatic relations between the US and Russia have hit a post-Cold War low, strained by differences over Iran, Kosovo, the missile shield, and the enlargement of NATO, Reuters reports.