On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I am delighted to congratulate all Russians as you celebrate the Day of Russia this June 12. This is an occasion to honor your rich history and culture, and an opportunity to mark the progress we have made together toward a new relationship based on mutual respect and mutual interest.
Working together, U.S. and Russian leaders have made real progress over the past twelve months. The New START Treaty, the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades, was ratified and entered into force. The U.S.-Russia Agreement for Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy -- the first bilateral framework agreement on civil nuclear cooperation -- has taken effect as well. Russia and the United States are becoming even stronger partners as we pursue peace and stability in Afghanistan and cooperate on issues like counterterrorism and counternarcotics. We made significant progress together toward increased two-way trade and investment and toward Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization. Entrepreneurs, educators, artists, athletes, scientists and bloggers have helped strengthen the bonds between our societies and our countries. Thanks in part to the efforts of our Bilateral Commission, our people are connected in more ways than ever before.
Americans and Russians will not agree on every issue, but we recognize that our futures and our fates are entwined as we face the shared challenges of the 21st century.
As you celebrate the Day of Russia, I send all Russians my warmest wishes for a peaceful, productive and prosperous year to come.