As salient a fact as any about what is a very rough visit by Condi Rice and Robert Gates to Russia --
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Anatoliy Eduardovich Serdyukov and Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov at Putin’s residence outside of Moscow.
According to pool reports, Putin did not meet with Gates and Rice until 40 minutes after their arrival.
UPDATE: The subtle barbs continued; interview with Sergey Brilev of RTR TV --
QUESTION: How do you call yourself these days -- a Sovietologist?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, we've dropped that term, clearly.