Barack Obama has called on Russia to help forge a new global partnership to overcome Cold War mistrust.
The US president’s comments came in a speech on the second day of his visit to Moscow. Yesterday, he met Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, and the two leaders signed eight separate accords. In today’s speech to Moscow’s New Economic School, Obama said freedom of speech and assembly were among universal rights that must be protected. He said: “The rule of law and equal administration of justice has busted monopolies, shut down political machines that were corrupt, ended abuses of power. Independent media have exposed corruption at all levels of business and government. Competitive elections allow us to change course and hold our leaders accountable.” The agreements signed yesterday included an accord to negotiate a new arms control pact to replace the 1991 START 1 treaty. This morning, Obama had breakfast with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The meeting was overshadowed by Obama’s reported comment last week that Putin had one foot stuck in the past. Today, the US president was full of praise for the man widely regarded as Russia’s most powerful politician.