February 8th, 2009
01:05 PM ET
6 years ago

Russian official: Biden's words 'very positive'

Vice President Biden is in Munich at a security conference.
Vice President Biden is in Munich at a security conference.

(CNN) - A top Russian official Sunday labeled as "very positive" remarks by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on the Obama administration's stance on major nuclear issues and relations with Russia.

Biden spoke Saturday at a security conference in Munich, Germany. In outlining the new American administration's foreign policy, he told delegates that while the United States will remain firm in defending against nuclear threats, Washington aims to work with Moscow.

Relations became tense between Russia and the United States over a proposed U.S. missile-defense shield with components in in eastern Europe.

In his speech, Biden said, "We will continue to develop missile defenses to counter a growing Iranian capability, provided the technology is proven to work and cost-effective."

But he added, "We will do so in consultation with our NATO allies and Russia."

It was Biden's first major speech as vice-president.

Deputy Russian Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who appeared with Biden for photographers before the two met privately Sunday in Munich, said he found Biden's remarks "very positive - restarting the button" on nuclear issues.

Also Sunday, Biden met privately with Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili.

Asked before the meeting as he appeared with Saakashvili about whether he favors Georgia eventually joining NATO, Biden responded, "I'm in favor of Georgia's continued independence and autonomy. That (NATO membership) is a decision for Georgia to make." Russia invaded the former Soviet republic last August over separatist regions of Georgia which are supported by Moscow.

More than 300 delegates from around the world attended the security conference, the most recent in a series of annual global forums on security policy that began 45 years ago.


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soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Gil

    Finally we have a president who talks rather than threatens.

    February 8, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    I trust Russia's politicians word even less than America's politicians word including this administration!

    February 8, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. Patrick G.

    If the U.S. is going to consult with Russia before missile defense shields are put in place, is Russia going to consult with the U.S. before giving arms to Iran? Of course not. Russia is telling all the members of the UN to stop using the dollar. It is very clear that Russia is still a country that would like to see the U.S. fall. Russia should stop selling and giving nuclear technology to terrorist countries.

    February 8, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Sunnyb

    Refreshing.

    February 8, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Rachel in Nebraska

    Those of you who write bad things about Joe Biden are very unAmerican. Give the man a break! He has years of foreign policy experience and is well regarded. So what if he has a loose tongue once in awhile....It is better then being a liar and a cheat like some politicians.....He is a great guy. Please Republicans, stop the criticism and start giving this administration a chance. The country doesn't need more fighting and does it really make you feel better?? Don't you want things to get better or do you want to go on writing nasty things on the internet.....

    February 8, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Will

    Biden tends to talk A LOT. Sooner or later the odds are in his favor that he'll say something positive. It's kind of like that old saying that if a thousand monkeys typed for a thousand years they'd produce the works of Shakespeare.

    February 8, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Debby, NJ

    You Go VP Biden!

    February 8, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Obama/Biden 08 & 12

    Thank You Mr Vice President. I knew the only thing we as a country needed was someone with a sane mind to again talk with countries that for the last 8 years have hated the USA. I am soooooooo glad dumbbell bush and that crazy war monger cheney are gone. I also know President Obama, Sec of State Clinton and you have lots of fence mending to do. Just like us I know the Russian want peace. Not everyone feels war is always the answer. So again I thank you.

    February 8, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. mk

    Hey, at least Biden didn't develop a "crush" on Russia's leader and see things in his eyes that weren't there.
    Save the criticism and be happy we don't have n bragging cowboy or a man who is so nasty you can't even look at him in office anymore.

    February 8, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. Billy Montgomery

    Don't worry about what slick Biden says in public to and about the Russians worry about what he says in private to the former KGB head and or his puppet president. The Russian president is like the Iranian president not his ownman but a mouthpiece for the real power. Biden is so far out of his league with the Rusians as to be laughable. He will be sucker patted and sent on his way. Remenber what happened to the couple that tried to communicte with grizzley bears in Alaska??

    February 8, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Deborah

    Great job, Vice-president Biden. You make us proud.

    February 8, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. MIMI

    Good job Vice President Biden.....maybe someday soon ...the world will trust America again.

    February 8, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. MikeNJ

    Hey Deborah....proud of what..... talking with enemy..... how do you get through the day being this stupid

    February 8, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Robert Craig

    Biden is right on about less confrontation with the Russians. There is no way we should put weapons (defensive or offensive) in Eastern Europe – - after all, how would we feel if Russia installed similar equipment in Mexico? Lets learn how to talk and cooperate with the Russians instead of just forcing our agenda on the world.

    February 8, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Andy

    I think this a bad idea of consulting Russia, they can't be trusted. I think if this is the true American policy then you guys are setting yourselves for failure.

    February 8, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  16. icharliem

    thank you "rachel from nebraska" ... a finger that's pointed is not working ... it's time we use our hands again ... and use our mouths more wisely ... silence the rhetoric and let's just get to work ... together as americans and with others around the world ...

    February 8, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. Sarah, MI

    I don't know where all these negative comments are coming from. Most of the people I know are as happy with Obama and Biden as I am. Good job Biden!

    February 8, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Brian

    Way to go, VP Biden !!

    Yes he did !! :D

    February 8, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. MODERATOR

    Love Our VP. No shoes thrown at HIM.

    February 8, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. Ryan

    As much as I love President Obama and his approach to bringing diplomacy back to the table – finally.... I really don't give a flip about Russia's feelings. They invaded Georgia in a manner that was more than..well..excessive! (Though the Georgian president poked a beehive on that one). To pre-emptively attack another country is stupid and dangerous for America but to pre-emptively DEFEND ourselves and other countries..then we need to do it and if Russia takes it personal than that's them admitting to us spoiling their plans with Iran.

    February 8, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. tishoogle

    Mike B'ham Get a life!!!! Your a joke just like the republicans! Great job Vice President Biden!

    February 8, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. ethan

    what a breath of fresh air in foreign policy. thank you biden, this is the first step of many.

    February 8, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. Shengelia

    Once again, US government has betrayed Georgian People, and pledge their continues support to aggressive, corrupt and reckless president Saakashvili. Recent actions further proves the point that United States is no friend of Georgia, but on contrary they would like to see Saakashvili further abuse and terrorize our citizens.

    February 8, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. weary of war

    The country is weary of the aggressive foreign policy and wars of the last eight years. Biden's speech gives us a glimmer of hope that this administration, in spite of the burden of lifting the hopes of America in a healing economy, also gives us the beginning of hope that saner minds are now in charge. Perhaps peace is no longer impossible; perhaps our country will regain some respect and cooperation from the world community by showing peaceful intent and reasonable use of power. Remember the motto of the sixties: "Give peace a chance."
    Negotiation from strength is not weakness!

    February 8, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. Pom

    Regardless of what conspiracies and skepticism are out there the tone from Washington is much more positive now than the former years.

    February 8, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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