Putin and Reagan

January 2nd, 2011

In a month when New START was given initial ratification by both the US Senate and the Russian Duma, building on the original START I treaty of 1991, let’s retrace the occasion of the apparent meeting of the architects of these two agreements, Vladimir Putin and Ronald Reagan.

When Putin met Reagan

The photo aboveĀ initially surfaced in early 2009 and apparently shows Vladimir Putin — on the left, with camera and dorky shirt — meeting Ronald Reagan, at a time when Putin was a lowly KGB officer (pretending to be a tourist) in Red Square. Also visible, on the right hand side behind Reagan, is Mikhail Gorbachev. It was taken on May 31st, 1988 by Pete Souza, then official White House photographer for Ronald Reagan (and now again for Barack Obama), and he gave some context about the photo in an interview with Steve Inskeep of American broadcaster NPR:

The full interview is available on the NPR website. The photo seems to have first appeared online on the website of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.