Putin and Bush meet at Moscow airport as US president heads to Asia
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1. Air Force One arrives on tarmac
2. Mid of President George W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush walking off plane, waving
3. Bush and wife walking down stairs of plane
4. Russian President Vladimir Putin and wife Lyudmila greeting the Bushes, standing for photo opportunity, walking away
5. Putins and Bushes walk into Vnukovo Airport terminal
6. President Bush and President Putin shake hands at meeting inside airport terminal
US President George W. Bush stopped off in Moscow on Wednesday to see Russian President Vladimir Putin, on his way to Asia for an eight day trip that includes stays in Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia.
The Russian leader and his wife, Lyudmila, greeted Bush and his wife Laura at the airport which was laid with red carpet laid on the tarmac.
The Russian president presented Laura Bush with a bouquet of yellow, orange and red flowers and the four exchanged kisses.
Inside the marble-floored Vnukovo Airport terminal, the two couples took seats in ornate armchairs for photographers, a table nearby laid with lunch.
The Bushes presented their hosts with a gift of a jumbo photograph of the four of them in one of the golf-cart sized electric cars that the Russians made available to leaders attending the Group of Eight summit Putin hosted in St. Petersburg in June.
The brief gathering, which lasted about an hour, was billed by White House advisers as not much more than a greeting between friends while Bush accepted the Russian generosity of allowing Air Force One to refuel in Moscow halfway through the 19-hour flight to Singapore.
But it is rare for the US president to fly to Asia via the east rather than the west, reflecting a feeling that a visit was important to keep going the sometime frosty Washington-Moscow relationship.
The US is eager for Russia's help in resolving nuclear disputes with North Korea and Iran, and the visit was seen as part of the efforts to get Russia on board.
Russian news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Alexei Gromov as saying that the two presidents discussed the Iranian nuclear programme, the situation in the Middle East and nuclear non-proliferation.
He also confirmed that a bilateral agreement on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation was being readied for signing in Hanoi, and said the two leaders' meeting had been very cordial.
Washington is seeking to overcome Russian reluctance towards an upcoming vote on UN sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator met Putin in Moscow on Saturday against a background of disagreement between Washington and Moscow over how to respond to Tehran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
Russia has rejected a European-proposed draft UN Security Council resolution for sanctions against Iran, saying it was too harsh, while the United States said it was too weak.
At the same time, the Bush administration has criticised what it sees as a recent erosion of democratic principles, particularly with the murder last month of a reporter critical of Russian policy in Chechnya, and has alleged that Moscow has been misusing its energy wealth as a lever to further its geopolitical goals.
Putin and Bush are due to meet again Sunday in Hanoi.
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