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.
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.”
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.”
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.