No Bush Talks as Expected

U.S. President George W. Bush will not hold talks in Beijing with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday as Putin's office had expected.

Putin will meet Chinese leaders and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Friday and Saturday, according to his official program distributed Thursday.

Putin's office said Tuesday that he would also hold a short meeting with Bush to discuss the U.S. presidential election, tensions between Russia and U.S. ally Georgia and U.S. missile-defense plans in Eastern Europe.

Putin, rather than President Dmitry Medvedev, is attending the Olympics along with world leaders, including Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

A Russian official said Thursday in Beijing that a U.S.-Russia bilateral meeting is no longer scheduled. Bush and Putin may meet "in the corridors," the official said on condition of anonymity.

The White House said Thursday that Bush never intended to meet with Putin or any other foreign leaders apart from the Chinese hosts.

"There has always been an expectation that the two will meet, have a chance to say hello, but the president does not have any bilaterals scheduled with any other world leaders but the Chinese,'' Gordon Johndroe, a White House spokesman, said in an e-mailed comment.