News / Europe

    US Vice President Calls for Closer Economic Ties with Russia

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) shakes hands with Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev during their meeting in the presidential residence at Gorki, outside Moscow March 9, 2011.
    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) shakes hands with Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev during their meeting in the presidential residence at Gorki, outside Moscow March 9, 2011.
    James Brooke

    Visiting U. S. Vice President Joe Biden said in Moscow Thursday that economic modernization can only come with political modernization. He said foreign investors want predictability, transparency and the rule of law.

    Two years after the Obama administration launched a campaign to improve relations with Moscow, Vice President Biden is calling for close economic ties with Russia.

    Citing joint cooperation on Afghanistan, on sanctions on Iran, and on nuclear weapons control, Biden gave this verdict in Moscow on the political reset. "The reset is working. It is working for all of us, working for Russia, and I would presumptuously suggest, working for the world.”

    He says the reduction in political tension has led to a dramatic softening of attitudes of Russians and Americans toward each other. Today, only two percent of Americans see Russia as a threat, he told an audience of business leaders and Moscow State University students. On the Russian side, he said, Russians with positive views of the United States have jumped from 17 percent in 2008 to over 60 percent today.

    To build on this base, he says, the next step is to bring Russia into the World Trade Organization. "Let me make this as clear as I possibly can: President Obama and I strongly support and want to see Russia in WTO," he said.

    Joining the WTO should be part of a wider effort in Russia to increase foreign investment by fighting corruption. Citing cases of ‘fortunes lost because of legal abuse' he said "Russia’s business and legal climate, quite frankly, is going to have to continue to improve. Because, right now, for many companies, it presents a fundamental obstacle."

    Russia faces a presidential election one year from now. The visiting American made a forceful argument that economic modernization is linked to political modernization.

    "No amount of government cheerleading, or public relations, or US support, or rebranding will bring wronged or nervous investors back to a market they perceive to have these shortcomings. Only bold and genuine change," Biden said.

    Earlier Thursday, the American vice president, met behind closed doors with Russian opposition leaders. Speaking at Moscow State University in the only public address of his two day visit to Russia, he gave a textbook lesson on democracy, stressing the need for a free press, for free nongovernment organizations, and for viable opposition political parties.

    "Polls show that most Russians want to choose their national and local  leaders in competitive elections. They want to be able to assemble freely,  and they want a meeting that is independent of the state, and they want to live in a country that fights corruption. That’s democracy," he said.

    Also on Thursday Biden met with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The Russian caught the visiting American off guard by unexpectedly proposing to abolish visas between the two countries.  Mr. Putin said: "This would break all the old stereotypes between Russia and the United States. We would turn a very important page and everything would start over," he said.

    Biden limited his response to saying it is a good idea.

    In his public comments in Russia, Biden has repeatedly praised President Dmitry Medvedev.

    After their meeting on Wednesday, he said: "Your personal leadership and progress has proved the skeptics wrong."

    In another endorsement, he also said: "We fully support Mevedev’s vision of a nation powered by innovation and modernization."

    In his public remarks, he has made no mention of Prime Minister Putin. The Russian press has speculated that the Obama Administration would prefer to see Mr. Medvedev as the official candidate in next year’s presidential elections.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.