Happy Days with Vladimir?:

In Kennebunkport, Maine, President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin shared fishing stories and seem to have cleared the air on the hot topic of missile defense. Just over a month ago, the Russians test fired a new ICBM, touting its ability to beat any potential missile defense system. Now, it would appear that Moscow is interested in, as Putin described it, “a gradual development of strategic partnership in the area of security” with the US and Europe. He expressed the belief that such cooperation—with the availability of a modernized Russian early warning system—would mean there is “no need to place any more facilities in Europe.” He was referring to US plans to install a missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland. President Bush at the same press conference said that Putin’s vision is “sincere” and “innovative,” but he believes the systems in Czech Republic and Poland “need to be an integral part of the system.”