Putin Puts in at Kennebunkport

Russian president insists visit is social, though tensions remain high
By Greg Atwan,  Newser User
Posted Jul 1, 2007 7:23 PM CDT
Former President George Bush, left and President George Bush, right welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin to Walker's Point, the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, Sunday, July 1, 2007....   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Russian president Vladimir Putin touched down in New Hampshire this afternoon for what the US and Russia are both calling a social visit to President Bush's summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. But the BBC reports both sides hope to use the meeting as an opportunity to warm their countries' recently glacial relationship.

It's the first time a foreign leader has been invited to the president's summer home. The most pressing issue between guest and host is Bush's proposed missile shield, which Putin says amounts to a renewal of the cold war. But Bush has also accused the Kremlin of a freedom-of-speech gap, and the two sides remain at loggerheads over Kosovo. (Read more Vladimir Putin stories.)