On the Occasion of the National Day of the Russian Federation

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 10, 2016

On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Russia as you celebrate your National Day on June 12.

This occasion marks the date in 1990 when your parliament declared Russia’s sovereignty as an independent Republic. That watershed moment is a reminder of the conviction – shared by the Russian and American people – that self-government is the best means to achieve dignity and respect for the fundamental rights of all our citizens.

Our people also share a pioneering spirit that has inspired great scientific and intellectual achievements throughout our histories and that is fully evident in our joint effort to explore the final frontier of the cosmos. This past March, the United States was pleased to stand with you in saluting the heroism of Mikhail Korniyenko and Scott Kelly as they completed their year-long mission in space.

On this special day, I offer my best wishes to the Russian people and my hopes for a future marked by prosperity, peace, and freedom in both our countries.