Sunday, April 6, 2008

Russia's New Boss Shows New Style

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Russia's new boss is not quite the same as the old boss

Russian President-elect Dmitry Medvedev, at 42 probably the youngest leader Russia has had since the days of the czars, looked slightly uncomfortable and uncertain as he sat down for his first formal talks with President Bush on Sunday before a crush of photographers.

But amid a barrage of camera clicks, the diminutive Medvedev grinned broadly when shaking Bush's hand, a noticeable change from the often unsmiling and imposing Vladimir Putin whom he will succeed next month.

"President Putin and you over these last eight years have done a lot to advance the Russian-U.S. relationship," Medvedev told Bush, paying respects to the man who will almost certainly become Russia's next prime minister and will likely still wield enormous power.

"When I officially assume my duties, I would like to do my best to keep up our relationship so there will be constructive engagement between us," Medvedev said, his voice competing with the noise of the cameras.

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