Today, Secretary Clinton travels to Russia for a two-day visit accompanied by Senator Mitchell. In Moscow, the pair will discuss efforts to promote Middle East peace in a meeting of the Quartet with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, as well as Quartet Representative Tony Blair.
The Secretary will also meet with senior Russian officials to discuss progress on a successor agreement to START, cooperation on nonproliferation, counterterrorism, regional security issues, and the work of the Bilateral Presidential Commission. During an interview with Yevgenia Albats of The New Times, Secretary Clinton said, "I'm optimistic that we'll be able to complete this agreement soon. It's a technically very complex treaty to accomplish. We share an interest in making real reductions in our strategic arsenals, and that is the most important point."
Before landing in Moscow, however, Secretary Clinton will make a stop in Shannon, Ireland, where for the first time she will mark St. Patrick's Day in Ireland. In addition to commemorating St. Patrick's Day this year, the Secretary said, “[W]e are also celebrating the historic Hillsborough Agreement in Northern Ireland on the devolution of policing and justice. This was a key step toward realizing the promise of the Good Friday Agreement and the St. Andrews Agreement, and achieving a full and lasting peace in Northern Ireland. The people and government of the Republic of Ireland can be proud of the role they played in supporting the peace process and producing this progress.”