Putin pays tribute to George H.W. Bush: ‘He was a genuine partner’

Putin pays tribute to George H.W. Bush: ‘He was a genuine partner’
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Russian President Vladimir Putin paid homage to former President George H.W. Bush on Saturday in a statement addressed to the late president's son, former President George W. Bush. 

"Please, accept my deepest condolences on the death of your father, George Herbert Walker Bush, former president of the United States. An outstanding man, who has faithfully served his country all his life - with a weapon in his hands during the war and in senior government positions during peaceful times - is no longer with us," the Russian leader said. 

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“Realizing the significance of the constructive dialogue between the two major nuclear powers, George Bush Sr. did much to strengthen Russian-American relations and cooperation on international security issues,” he added. 

Bush was president at the conclusion of the Cold War and is credited by many with helping to maintain peace in Europe as the Soviet Union dissolved. 

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who held talks with Bush and signed a landmark arms control agreement, also praised the former president in a speech after news emerged that he had died at the age of 94.

“Many of my memories are linked to him. We happened to work together in years of great changes. It was a dramatic time demanding huge responsibility from everyone. The result was the end of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race,” Russia’s Interfax news agency cited Gorbachev as saying. 

“I pay tribute to George Bush’s contribution toward this historic achievement. He was a genuine partner.”

Bush's family announced the former president's death Friday in a statement. No cause of death has been given.