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U.S. Department of State

President Bush Meets with Russian President Putin at Camp David

George W. Bush, President
Remarks by the President and Russian President Putin in Press Availability Camp David
Camp David, Maryland
September 27, 2003

[ ... ]

QUESTION: So the next question is for you, Mr. President Bush. Sir, the question is, as you know, as you probably do know, Mr. President, that visa practices implemented by your embassies abroad, including by your embassy in Russia, with respect to those people who would like to travel to the United States, and that does not add sympathies to -- does not add sympathies. And do you know that even journalists who came here to cover your visit had to undergo -- undergo a special interview at the embassy in Moscow? And do you expect any changes to take place in these practices?

And as a follow-up question, does my question -- will my --

PRESIDENT BUSH: No wonder you got interviewed. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: And as a follow-up question, can I be assured that my question will not lead to a denial of visa for me, personally? (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: No. Nyet. (Laughter.) No, the President raised the issue of visas. He expressed concern that our visa policy was cumbersome and didn't expedite the travel of legitimate journalists and business people and artists and educators. Our intention is not to slow down visits. Our intention is to make sure that visitors who come are reasonable people. What is happening, is that policy -- the visa policy changed after September the 11th, 2001, and we're trying to make it as modern and as efficient as possible. And we've got some work to do.

[ ... ]

[ End ]