George Bush, after meeting Vladimir Putin in 2001:
I was able to get a sense of his soul, a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.
But this weekend…
The OSCE’s election monitoring unit announced earlier this month that it would not attend Russia’s election, saying Moscow had refused to provide visas to its staff.
Mr Putin said the boycott decision “was taken on the recommendation of the American state department”.
“The aim is to discredit the elections, but they won’t achieve their goal,” he said.
“We will certainly take this into account with our bilateral ties with this state,” he added, referring to the US.