In Russia, President Obama participated in a press conference with President Dmitry A. Medvedev today at the Kremlin. President Obama said:"I seek to reset relations with Russia because I believe that Americans and Russians have many common interests, interests that our governments recently have not pursued as actively as we could have. For instance, I believe that Americans and Russians both would benefit from fewer nuclear weapons in the world, greater control over nuclear materials around the world, a defeat of extremist elements in Afghanistan and Pakistan, an Iran that produces nuclear energy but not nuclear weapons, and a North Korea that refrains from launching missiles and exploding nuclear weapons and instead returns to the negotiating table. I also believe that Americans and Russians have a common interest in the development of rule of rule, the strengthening of democracy, and the protection of human rights.
As I said in my inaugural address: 'To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.' I then emphasized in my Cairo speech that 'I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights.' These are ideas embraced by your president and your people. I agree with President Medvedev when he said that 'Freedom is better than the absence of freedom.' So, I see no reason why we cannot aspire together to strengthen democracy, human rights, and the rule of law as part of our 'reset'."Read the White House Blog for more on the President's visit to Moscow.