“Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday proposed to visiting US Vice President Joe Biden that Russia and the United States abolish visas in a ‘historic’ step to seal a revival in ties,” reports Agence France Press.
“If the United States and Russia agree to implement a visa-free regime . . . ” Putin told Biden “[this]would break all the old stereotypes between Russia and the United States. . . . everything would start over.”
Biden hailed the “reset” in US-Russia relations . . . his comments were upstaged by Putin’s unexpected offer.
In other words, the Obama administration’s “reset” was trumped by Putin’s overhaul. Meanwhile, doesn’t when in 1986 then Secretary General of the Communist Party Mikhail Gorbachev proposed eliminating all nuclear weapons by the year 2000.
In any event, Putin can afford to be generous. The Moscow Times reports:
Russia nearly doubled its number of billionaires this year, producing 101 of the 1,210 world’s wealthiest people, compared with 62 last year, Forbes magazine said in its annual world billionaires ranking.
More to the point
Moscow had won back its status as the world’s billionaire capital, from last year’s champion New York.