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For Immediate Release
February 28, 2005

Global Message

From remarks by President Bush in a press availability with Russian President Putin, 2/24/05

President Bush believes it is in America's best interest that Russia is our strong and viable partner.

It is very important that the United States has a working relationship with Russia, and that in the 21st century, strong countries are built by developing strong democracies.

Democracies always reflect a country's customs and culture, but they have certain things in common: rule of law and protection of minorities, a free press, and a viable political opposition.

Russia has made tremendous progress over the last 15 years. It is an amazing transformation of the nation. President Bush applauds President Putin for dealing with a country that is in transformation.

President Bush was able to share his concerns - in a constructive and friendly way - about Russia's commitment in fulfilling these universal principles.

America and Russia may not always agree with each other, but have found a lot agreement, a lot of common ground, which has made the world a better place.

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