I am delighted to offer my congratulations to the people of Russia as you celebrate your National Day this June 12th.
I was in Moscow earlier this year for my first visit as Secretary of State, and my trip coincided with celebrations of Victory Day, a reminder of the pivotal role your country has played at times of great challenge in the world. As I stood and placed a wreath at your Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I was reminded of the great sacrifice the Russian people made along with the United States to defeat a common enemy. It was also a reminder that today, despite our differences and different perspectives which we express openly and honestly, Russia and the United States have much to gain by working together on the central challenges of this century. The opportunities before us far outweigh our differences, as our record of cooperation on common interests, from trade and investment to counterterrorism and nonproliferation, clearly demonstrates. In today’s global economy that thrives on innovation, Americans and Russians both stand to benefit from increased partnership between our societies, universities and businesses.
As you celebrate your national day, I offer all Russians my warm wishes, and my hope that by working together we can help to ensure that the 21st century will be defined by shared peace, stability and prosperity.
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