On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Russia as you celebrate your National Day this June 12th. This is an occasion to honor your rich history and cultural diversity, and an opportunity to mark the progress we have made together.
Over the past three and a half years, our two countries have continued to broaden and deepen our cooperation to address shared challenges. Trade and investment are increasing. We were proud to support Russia’s effort to join the World Trade Organization this year. We continued successful implementation of the New START Treaty, including its comprehensive inspection and verification procedures. Russia and the United States are effective partners as we pursue peace and stability in Afghanistan and cooperate on issues like counterterrorism and counternarcotics.
Entrepreneurs, educators, artists, athletes, scientists, and bloggers have helped strengthen the bonds between our societies and our countries by participating in cultural, educational, and people-to-people exchanges. We look forward to even closer ties with the ratification of agreements to increase the duration of business and tourist visas and to strengthen protections and procedures for intercountry adoptions. Our people are connected in more ways than ever before thanks in part to the efforts of our Bilateral Presidential Commission.
As you celebrate your national day, I send all Russians my warmest wishes for a peaceful, productive and prosperous year to come.