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Kremlin: Putin, Bush to ink agreement in farewell summit
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08:49, April 02, 2008

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Russia's outgoing President Vladimir Putin and his United States counterpart George W. Bush are expected to sign a joint document on April 6 when they meet in Russia's Black Sea resort Sochi, a Kremlin source said on Tuesday.

The agreement is to focus on hot topics in bilateral ties such as a U.S. plan to deploy missile shield components in Central Europe which Russia opposed to, RIA Novosti news agency said.

The one-day summit will also discuss a framework agreement for the development of bilateral ties and other topics such as NATO's expansion.

"Experts are working hard on a document within the strategic framework of Russian-U.S. cooperation," the anonymous official said, noting that the meeting will lay out "a road map" for future presidents in both countries.

Putin is expected to step down in May, when his successor Dmitry Medvedev takes his Kremlin office. Medvedev has pledged to continue Putin's set policy and hire Putin as his prime minister.

Russia-U.S. relations were soured in recent years by former Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine's NATO bids and the U.S. missile shield plan in Central Europe.

Washington suggested to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic as part of its third missile shield to defense alleged threat from the Middle East. Moscow, however, says it will only damage strategic balance and regional security.

Moscow is also against NATO's further expansion around its borders. The Kremlin threatened in February to target missiles at Ukraine if Kiev joins NATO and allows Western military facilities on its territory.


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