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Building on the “Reset” – The Vice President’s Visit to Moscow

Summary: 
Vice President Biden delivers a powerful speech to U.S. and Russian students and business leaders, hailing the successful “reset” of U.S.-Russian relations and reiterating his call for broader economic cooperation between the two countries.
Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the American Chamber of Commerce and Russian students at Moscow State University

Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the American Chamber of Commerce and Russian students at Moscow State University, in Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Today, before a packed auditorium at Moscow State University, Vice President Biden delivered a powerful speech to U.S. and Russian students and business leaders. Echoing messages conveyed during his earlier meetings with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin over the course of his three-day visit, Vice President Biden hailed the successful “reset” of U.S.-Russian relations and reiterated his call for broader economic cooperation between the two countries.

Vice President Joe Biden, talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Gorky Dacha

Vice President Joe Biden, talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Gorky Dacha outside Moscow, Russia, March 9, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden greets Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the Russian White House

Vice President Joe Biden greets Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the Russian White House, in Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Issuing the strongest support yet for Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization, the Vice President said,“it’s better for Americans and better for Russians to be able to trade with each other under predictable and transparent rules.”

On the issue of human rights and the status of democracy and the rule of law in Russia – a topic discussed at length in meetings with Russian civil society and political opposition leaders earlier today, the Vice President said:  “History showsthat in industrialized societies, economic modernization and political modernization must go hand and hand.”

Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle talk with civil society leaders

Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle talk with civil society leaders at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Yesterday, the Vice President and Dr. Biden visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Alexander Garden. As a military honor guard looked on, the Vice President observed a moment of silence in recognition of the Russian soldiers who died in World War II and ceremonially placed a wreath that read “To those who fell in the fight against fascism, from the American people.”

Vice President Joe Biden observes a moment of silence during a wreath   laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown

Vice President Joe Biden observes a moment of silence during a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin Walls in Moscow, Russia, March 9, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Later, the Vice President attended a signing ceremony for the sale of Boeing 777 jets to Aeroflot – which will support more than 10,000 jobs at home - in the impressive building of the Moscow School of Management at Skolkovo, an area that Moscow hopes to develop into the Russian equivalent of Silicon Valley. Afterwards, he and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov led a roundtable discussion with Russian and American business leaders. The Vice President added that beyond negotiations between our governments, the U.S. is also relying on the growing connections between Russian and American business leaders and leaders in civil society to build a comprehensive relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Vice President Joe Biden, and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor   Shuvalov watch as Boeing Russia CEO

Vice President Joe Biden, and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov watch as Boeing Russia CEO Sergey Kravchenko and Aeroflot General Director Vitaly Saveliev sign an agreement for Aeroflot to purchase Boeing Jets at Skolkovo School of Management in Moscow, Russia, March 9, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden holds a roundtable discussion with American and Russian business leaders and Russian Deputy Prime Minister

Vice President Joe Biden holds a roundtable discussion with American and Russian business leaders and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov at Skolkovo School of Management in Moscow, Russia, March 9, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)