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Positive Future For U.S. - Russia Relations

Positive Future For U.S. - Russia Relations

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that the administration of President Barack Obama wants "a Russia that is prosperous, peaceful, and strong." The U.S., said Secretary Clinton, wants to be Russia's partner "in helping to address some of the most difficult challenges that the world faces."

Secretary Clinton was in Moscow, where she met with senior Russian officials to discuss the progress on a successor agreement to START, cooperation on nonproliferation and counterterrorism, and next steps for the Bilateral Presidential Commission, instituted to facilitate cooperation between the United States and Russia.

At a town hall meeting at Moscow State University, Secretary Clinton said the world today faces "a spectacular array of challenges – from threats to global security to economic crisis to a fragile environment. Amid that landscape, Russia stands out as a country of almost unlimited talents and potential." Our world, said Secretary Clinton, will be a vastly better place if the intellectual energy that resides in both our countries is focused on working together to address these common challenges.

Secretary Clinton noted that the U.S. partnership with Russia has helped prevent the spread of nuclear arms. Both nations have committed to reducing their nuclear weapons stockpile. The U.S. and Russia have also cooperated in the fight against terrorism. "We need to build on what we have already done," she said.

"The biggest immediate threat the world faces are nuclear weapons under the control of groups and persons who do not value the future, who have a different set of world views, who are on the side of death instead of life, who believe martyrdom and suicide attacks are a positive way to end one's life." This is an important area for U.S.-Russia cooperation.

Innovation is the key to meeting the challenges before us, said Secretary Clinton. "And so is cultivating core freedoms, free speech, freedom of the press, the freedom to participate in the political process."

The future of U.S.-Russia relations, Secretary Clinton said, is very positive. "There will be disagreements along the way, as there should be. But it is our task, and I believe our responsibility to work toward greater understanding and a more durable partnership."