President George W. Bush on Wednesday defended his style of dealing with Vladimir Putin as the Russian president works to expand his control on power.
Bush said he can speak frankly with Putin, and "that's good diplomacy."
Putin is maneuvering to maintain influence and remain in power after his term ends next year. "I have no idea what he's going to do," Bush said at a news conference.
Bush said that when he saw Putin in Australia last month at an international conference he tried to get the Russian leader to talk about his plans. "And he was wily. He wouldn't tip his hand."