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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bush Pays Visit to 'Old Friend' Yeltsin




President Boris Yeltsin traded light-hearted banter and bear hugs with former U..S. President George Bush at a Kremlin reception Thursday marking Bush's first visit to Moscow since he lost the presidency in 1992.


Yeltsin jovially gave himself and Bush credit for ending the Cold War, declaring with a smile that they had "turned everything around, decreased the level of strategic weapons, and signed a partnership of friendship between our two countries."


Bush said seeing Yeltsin was "like seeing an old friend" and added that he believed the Russian president would "prevail in the reforms he has initiated."


Yeltsin declared the former U.S. president in "good physical form," and praised his wife, Barbara.


In fact, even though he has a generally low opinion of American cookery, Yeltsin said he had read Barbara Bush's cookbook and some of the recipes "coincide" with his tastes.


"I think Americans in general are bad cooks and don't know how to eat," Yeltsin said in front of reporters during the Kremlin meeting.


But the burly Russian leader said he had read and appreciated Barbara Bush's published recipes, which he saw as an antidote for bad U.S. cooking.


"That's why she wrote how to prepare and eat home cooking, and that coincides with my tastes," he said.


Bush, apparently trying to return the compliment, then pointed at Yeltsin and chirped to reporters, "My wife Barbara is still madly in love with him."