The Presidents addressed the students and teachers and answered their questions. One of the questions was about the “brain drain”, a problem that is currently of concern to Russia. Vladimir Putin replied that the problem could be approached in two ways: either close the country again and try to create by administrative means the conditions that deny people freedom of movement, or create a worthy life for the people in an open country. He is in favour of the latter approach.
President Putin spoke in favour of broader Russian-American cooperation in the sphere of high technologies, stressing the importance of lifting restrictions on the supply of such technologies to Russia. He said he had had a long discussion on that matter with George Bush and that there were grounds for thinking that the US President supported the approach.
In the opinion of the Russian President, the most salient feature of the relations between Russia and the US today is the high degree of mutual trust.
After the meeting with the students, Mr Putin presented Mr Bush with the copies of two documents dated October 1780. These were the first documents from the archive of Russian-American diplomatic correspondence in connection with American Independence.
President Putin noted that one of the highlights of the bilateral relations was the adamant refusal of Catherine II to grant the British monarch’s request to support London in the war against the US which was fighting for its independence. The refusal was followed by Russia’s declaration of armed neutrality, which, according to the Russian President, played an important role in the emergence of the young state.
The US President thanked President Putin for the gift.