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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bush Will Meet Putin At Father's Compound

WASHINGTON -- With Russian-U.S. relations under heavy strain, Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin will meet July 1 and 2 in a U.S. oceanfront resort for a wide-ranging discussion of world affairs, administration officials said Wednesday.

"It's an opportunity for him and President Putin to continue what is always, for the two of them, candid and very honest conversations about things that matter," Bush spokesman Tony Snow said.

The two also will see each other next week in Heiligendamm, Germany, during the annual Group of Eight summit.

The U.S. meeting will be at the oceanfront compound of Bush's father, former President George Bush, in Kennebunkport, Maine.

The session comes at a time when many experts say relations between the nations are at their lowest point since the Soviet era.

Bush and Putin will discuss Iran, civil nuclear cooperation, missile defense and other issues, Snow said.

"Cooperation between the United States and Russia is important in solving regional conflicts, stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction and combating terrorism and extremism," Snow said in announcing the visit.

Asked why Bush chose to hold the meeting at his father's house in Maine, Snow said, "Why not? It's a good place to have it."

Russia views U.S. activity in its former sphere of influence with growing suspicion. In a Victory Day speech this month, Putin denounced, "disrespect for human life, claims to global exclusiveness and dictate, just as it was in the time of the Third Reich."

The Kremlin insisted that Putin had not meant to compare the Bush administration's policies to those of Nazi Germany, but the reference appeared to highlight Russia's annoyance at what it sees as U.S. domination of world affairs.

Soon after, in Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice won agreements to tone down Russian tough talk in an effort to improve strained ties.