Yesterday in Moscow met the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden. During the meeting Putin proposed to start negotiations on visa-free regime between Russia and the United States. Few days ago Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent President Barack Obama message regarding this issue.
During the conversation with Biden Putin mentioned the urgent issue of abolishing visas for entry into the EU. Reaching mutual agreement on visa-free regime between the EU and Russia both sides could avoid a number of obstacles to effective cooperation between the countries. Abolition of visas will increase the flow of tourists to Russia, skilled workers and foreign investment. This will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the economic development of Russia.
In an interview with Biden the chairman of the Russian government stressed that "if Russia and the United States have agreed on introduction of visa-free regime sooner than it would have done with the EU, it would be a historic step in the development of Russian-American relations".
Given the multi-year "cold war" between Russia and the United States, such an agreement, according to Putin, "would break all the old stereotypes about Russia and the United States" and would "turn a significant page in the past of both countries and start all over again".
The historic events that could put an end to the long struggle between Russia and the United States may also include the abolition of adopted in 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment for trade restrictions with the USSR. The amendment was introduced as a U.S. protest against human rights violations in the Soviet Union, which prohibited free emigration of its citizens.
Joseph Biden has called Putin's proposal to start negotiations on abolition of visas a "good idea", but referred to the difference in the powers of the president and vice president for making decisions in such matters.
The purpose of the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visit was the continuation of the so-called "reset" of the Russian-American relations. Emphasis was put on entering the Russian Federation into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and missile defense issues. They also discussed investment issues, the judiciary system, corruption, human rights and other controversial issues, the agreement in which will lead to closer and stronger ties between the two countries.