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Bush dances after arrival in Georgia

President plans speech on democracy during trip's final stop

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TBILISI, Georgia (CNN) -- President Bush arrived Monday in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, the fourth stop in a five-day trip, where he plans to deliver a speech on democracy and freedom.

"The president is going to herald one of the world's newest democracies," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan.

Bush will speak Tuesday in Liberty Square -- the site of dramatic protests in November 2003 that formed the so-called Rose Revolution that put Mikhail Saakashvili in power.

"Georgia is a beacon of liberty for the world, and the president will talk about that in his remarks," McClellan told reporters on Air Force One on the way to the former Soviet state.

Bush was greeted by the Western-leaning Saakashvili and taken on a tour of Tbilisi, the capital. Music and dance groups performed for the two men.

As Bush was leaving the performance, he took onlookers by surprise -- including those from his home country -- when he started dancing briefly.

Hands on his hips, he shook side to side for a few seconds, then took a few steps, turned around and did it again.

First lady Laura Bush seemed caught off guard as well, first clapping along then pointing to her husband and gently touching his back.

After waving to the watching crowd, Bush began to step into a car. Only putting his feet in, the president stood on the car's floor, raised his hands above his head and waved them back and forth to the music as he grinned widely.

Despite the playful atmosphere, Bush's arrival in Georgia -- from Moscow -- carried great political significance.

At a ceremony earlier Monday, Bush was given a seat of honor next to Russian President Vladimir Putin to watch Red Square celebrations that marked the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. (Full story)

The U.S. president was among more than 50 dignitaries to attend. Others included Chinese President Hu Jintao, French President Jacques Chirac, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent his deputy, John Prescott. Blair remained in London to put the finishing touches on his government, which won re-election last week. (Full story)

Welcomed as friends were the leaders of World War II's three major Axis powers: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

On Sunday, Bush and Putin met privately and discussed U.S. concerns that Russia was moving away from democracy.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters the two men were "straightforward. They say what they mean and then they act on that." (Full story)

'Forward-looking speech' planned

Bush has in recent days lamented the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia at the beginning of World War II.

In a speech Saturday in the Latvian capital Riga, Bush referred to the "occupation and communist oppression" of the Baltic states, which won independence in 1991. (Full story)

Putin recently expressed nostalgia for the Soviet Union, and argued the Baltic states chose to align themselves with the central Russian authority.

Saakashvili disputed that assertion in an interview Sunday with CNN, recalling Soviet postwar domination of Eastern Europe and the suppression of nationalism in the Baltic countires as well as his own, which was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1921 and won independence in 1991.

"Keeping small nations enslaved because of the deals between the great nations or because of any pragmatic considerations that might have been there are totally unacceptable," Saakashvili said.

Saakashvili, a 37-year-old who spent years studying in the United States, was not among the more than 50 dignitaries at Monday's ceremony in Moscow.

He told CNN he had decided not to attend unless significant progress was made toward an agreement for Russia to remove military bases in Georgia. He said he was hopeful there would soon be a deal.

Georgia is widely viewed as helping lead the way for other former Soviet republics to turn away from Moscow and focus more of their efforts on building alliances with the West.

While Bush's speech will touch on the upheaval that jolted veteran leader Eduard Shevardnadze from power, McClellan said it will focus on the future.

The speech in Riga "was looking a lot at the lessons of the past," while the one Tuesday "is really a forward-looking speech," he said.

Bush will also address "how important it is for new democracies to meet certain responsibilities in order to sustain freedom," McClellan said.

He said the United States supports Georgia's economic and political reforms and efforts to crack down on corruption.

"One thing he'll talk about in the remarks is that sustaining freedom is difficult; it's not easy," he said.

The Baltics and Georgia were among the topics when Bush and Putin met Sunday night, U.S. national security adviser Stephen Hadley said.

Hadley described the conversations as "cordial, extensive, light-hearted at times."

CNN's Dana Bash, John King and Jill Dougherty contributed to this report.

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