July 6th, 2009
10:15 AM ET
12 years ago

Analysis: Who's in charge as Obama visits Russia?

MOSCOW, Russia - President Obama arrived in Moscow on Monday for a summit with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev aimed at trying to "reset" the U.S.-Russian relationship. But he also may have a less publicized goal: figuring out who's really in charge here.

When Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, engaged in his first summit with his Russian counterpart, things took an odd turn. Bush said - now infamously - that he looked into then-President Vladimir Putin's eyes and saw into his soul, and basically found he was a good guy that Americans could do business with. Oops. The Bush-Putin relationship ended up getting pretty chilly, which is why the new U.S. president is now trying to warm things up.

Obama gets his first shot at literally looking into Putin's eyes Tuesday, when he has a sitdown with the man who is now prime minister of Russia, a post that many international analysts believe allows Putin to continue to pull the strings behind the scenes.

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Filed under: President Obama • Russia
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