President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin say they "made some progress" toward a new strategic framework that will include limited missile defenses.
Putin repeated his well-known opposition to Mr. Bush's plans to withdraw from the 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty.
But, he said, "We should think about the future, we should look into the future, and we should react adequately to possible threats in the future."
"We are prepared to discuss that with our American partners," Putin said at a joint news conference with Mr. Bush.
Putin said the U.S. action in Afghanistan was "measured and adequate."
|Presidents Putin and Bush compare notes...|
or perhaps tailors
Putin remains at odds with President Bush over his plan to develop and deploy an anti-missile defense system, even if it means pulling out of the ABM Treaty.
"The events of September 11th make it clearer than ever that a cold war ABM treaty that prevents us from defending our people is outdated...and I believe dangerous," Mr. Bush said.
Putin said it's hard for him to believe that terrorists could capture and use a nuclear missile. The two leaders will resume discussions of the issue at the summit next month in Washington and at the Bush ranch in Texas.
The leaders met after the annual meeting of Pacific Rim leaders.
Putin said the ABM treaty provided an important element of stability but said the two countries would "think about the future and react to possible threats about the future."
Mr. Bush said the Sept. 11 attacks strengthened his resolve to build a missile-defense shield, which will require the United States to withdraw from the treaty. Putin said that in their closed-door meeting, he and Mr. Bush made progress on the issue of nuclear arms and defenses.
"At least we do have an understanding that we can reach some agreement taking into account the national interests" of the two nations, Putin said.
Putin said he looked forward to full-fledged negotiations on nuclear stockpiles and missile defense at their meetings at Mr. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, next month.
A senior White House official said after the news conference that Mr. Bush did not give Putin a deadline for when the United States would pull out of the ABM treaty, but made clear the United States would have to do so sometime soon. It takes six months from such notification before that would take effect.
Officials have said they're optimistic presidentBush and Putin can reach a deal in Texas next month regarding the missile defense issue.
Some administration officials said Sunday that Mr. Bush is prepared to give notice in January; others said President Bush has not settled on a time.
APEC leaders expressed strong support for the U.S. military action in Afghanistan, Mr. Bush said, even though their official statement did not mention Afghanistan, al-Qaida or Osama bin Laden.
"They came to stand in solidarity with the United States," Mr. Bush said.
Putin ordered Russia's military to halt exercises when he learned that the American military was moving to high-alert status on Sept. 11, Mr. Bush said.
"America, and I in particular, will remember this act of friendship in a time of need," Mr. Bush said.
Putin said the "political, economic and psychological consequences today are accurately felt in many countries, and all the continents."
The APEC leaders chose cautious language at the urging of two predominantly Muslim nations, Indonesia and Malaysia. It was a disappointment for Mr. Bush, who had wanted more direct support for his military campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaida. The final communique does not mention either.
"We condemn in the strongest terms the attack as an affront to peace, prosperity and the security of all people of all faiths, of every nation," Chinese President Jiang Zemin said at the close of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
In the meeting with Putin, no breakthroughs had been expected. The U.S. goal was to lay a foundation for significant advances in November.
The Bush administration hopes that a U.S. offer of deep cuts in its nuclear arsenal will make Russia amenable to modifications in the ABM treaty that would allow missile tests not permitted under the accord.
The Bush administration says a missile defense is needed to protect the United States against adversary nations Iran, Iraq, and North Korea that are developing long-range missile capabilities.
Russian officials have talked privately about possibly easing differences on strategic issues, even though Moscow's public posture remains unchanged.
After Putin met with Jiang on Saturday, Russian spokesman Alexei Gromov said, "Both sides confirmed that the ABM treaty is a cornerstone of the strategic stability."
Gromov said Putin and Jiang also are calling for a swift end to the American military attacks on Afghanistan.
A Kremlin official traveling with Putin said the statement did not represent a change in Putin's strong support for the U.S.-led military effort in Afghanistan, whose Taliban rulers have refused to surrender bin Laden, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks.
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