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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Heads to Washington for Summit

President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to those who lost loved ones in the New York plane crash on Monday but said his planned summit with U.S. President George W. Bush should continue as planned.

"First of all I need to express my condolences to those close to the deceased, to the American people, and the U.S. president," Putin said prior to departing for Washington. "But work has to go ahead and as far as we know the Americans are ready to proceed along the schedule planned for this visit."

Putin was due to meet Bush in the White House on Tuesday and then go to Texas for further talks on Wednesday at Bush's ranch.

Putin departed just hours after the American Airlines jet crash.

"At the same time we understand the situation after this one more tragedy for America, for New York and for the whole of the American people," Putin told reporters. "Thus we are ready to be flexible and if necessary alter the format [of the meetings]. We will react with full understanding to any such proposals."

Putin expressed confidence that his trip, the first official visit as president to the United States, would be a success.