“Genuine disagreement” remains between Russia and the United States over Georgia, U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, said while speaking at the State University in Moscow on March 10.
In his speech he spoke about the benefits Russia and the United States received in various areas two years after pressing “reset button”; he, however, also said that there “is still much work to be done to enhance our security cooperation and closeness”.
“We have a genuine disagreement not only with your [Russian] leadership but with the vast majority of the Russian people over Georgia,” Biden told the audience at the Moscow State University. “But there’s a larger principle at stake here in our view – and I want to be straightforward because if friends cannot be straightforward with friends, it really isn’t friendship based on mutual trust.”
“We think there’s a larger principle at stake here. As I said when I announced the reset at Munich [Security Conference in February, 2009] I said, ‘It will remain our view that sovereign states have the right to make their own decisions and choose their own alliances.’ And further: ‘We will not recognize any state having a sphere of influence.’ And almost regardless of the difficulty, we don't support any state deciding through force changing the leadership of an elected – democratically elected individual,” Biden said.
He said the U.S. had been working closely with Russia and Georgia “to reduce the threat of further conflict.”
“As a result, Georgia recently restated its commitment non-use of force, and commercial flights have resumed between Moscow and Tbilisi. But we must do more to assist those displaced by the 2008 conflict and enable normal travel and commerce to occur,” the U.S. Vice President added.