, MOSCOW, Jul 7 – The United States wants a strong, peaceful and prosperous Russia, US President Barack Obama said in a keynote speech on Tuesday, urging the development of democracy and curbing of corruption in the country.
"America wants a strong, peaceful, and prosperous Russia," Obama told students from the New Economic School in Moscow.
"We recognize the future benefit that will come from a strong and vibrant Russia," Obama said.
The challenges facing the modern world "demand global partnership, and that partnership will be stronger if Russia occupies its rightful place as a great power," he said.
And he spoke out in favour of democracy in a country sometimes criticised for its democratic shortcomings.
"The arc of history shows us that governments which serve their own people survive and thrive; governments which serve only their own power do not," he said.
"In our own history, democracies have been America’s most enduring allies, including those we once waged war with in Europe and Asia — nations that today live with great security and prosperity."
Obama also took aim at corruption, widely seen as one of the scourges of Russia’s post-Soviet society.
"People everywhere should have the right to do business or get an education without paying a bribe. That is not an American idea or a Russian idea — that’s how people and countries will succeed in the 21st century."