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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Budding Friendship Between 2 Presidents

A timeline tracking the evolution of comments by Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin about one another:

Feb. 15, 2000, candidate Bush on acting President Putin: "This current [Clinton] administration has been sending all kinds of signals confirming Mr. Putin. We don't know enough about him."

March 27, 2000, candidate Bush reacting to Putin's election as president: "I am troubled that Mr. Putin gained his popularity as a result of the war in Chechnya. Moscow will discover that it cannot build a stable and unified nation on the ruins of human rights."

June 15, 2001, Bush preparing for his first meeting with Putin: "First and foremost is to develop a trust between us. He doesn't know me and I don't know him very well."

June 16, 2001, Bush after his first meeting with Putin: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. ... I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country. ... I wouldn't have invited him to my ranch if I didn't trust him."

June 19, 2001, Putin on his first meeting with Bush in Slovenia, in which he tried to speak some English: "He was extremely nice about it. He pretended to understand what I was talking about."

June 20, 2001, Bush on Putin: "I found him to be a forward-thinking person, and someone with whom our nation should and will work to bring security to that part of the world."

July 18, 2001, Putin on Bush, preparing for their second meeting in Italy: "He is a rather warm person, pleasant to talk to, and I would even say... he seemed to me a little sentimental."

July 22, 2001, Putin on Bush, after their meeting in Italy: "His mental reasoning is very deep, very profound."

July 22, 2001, Bush on Putin, after their meeting in Italy: "We're young leaders who are interested in forging a more peaceful world. ... I was struck by how easy it is to talk to President Putin, how easy it is to speak from my heart, without, you know, fear of complicating any relationship."

Oct. 21, 2001, Putin on Bush, after their third meeting in Shanghai: "President Bush told a lot of warm words about myself in public, and I'm grateful to him for that. And I feel his attitude outside formal events, and I hope that he has the same feeling when he talks to me."

Oct. 21, 2001, Bush on Putin being the first foreign leader to call him after the Sept. 11 attacks: "I in particular will remember this act of friendship in a time of need. ... Vladimir Putin was the first person to call. That's what a friend does, call in a time of need."

Nov. 5, 2001, Putin on Bush: "I believe it's not accidental that he became the president of the United States. He sees better and deeper and understands the problems more accurately. ... We can do business with this man."