Vice President Biden says that it is "beyond dispute" that the "reset" button is working and the relationship with Russia has improved since the "mistrust" and "ill-will" left over from the Bush administration. Under a large banner that read "Building the Reset," Biden gave what was touted as a "major" speech in Russian relations while in Moscow for meetings with Russian leaders including Prime Minister Vladamir Putin.
Biden said the relationship has improved in the last two years, and that the Obama administration has been able to work towards mending it, something the vice president says President Obama tasked him with when they came into office.
"I don't need to tell anyone in this audience that our administration, when we took office in January of ‘09, our relationship with Russia had hit a fairly low point, and had accumulated over the previous eight years."
He added that even before Russia's war with Georgia, the decline of the relationship was reaching a "dangerous drift."
Former White House Press Secretary under Bush, Dana Perino noted in the height of the 2008 campaign and both candidates [Sens. Obama and McCain] were stating how they'd do things different, but that a few months later, Obama seemed to change his tune.
"About five months later the new administration was pressing the reset button - apparently all was forgiven and forgotten. As Russia walks back any semblance of democratic freedoms, the administration turns a blind eye. And for what? We have about as much cooperation from them on the major issues, like Iran, as we've ever had. Go figure," Perino said.
Biden said the White House rejects what he called a tired theory that Russian and U.S. values and interest are competing for influence over our politics.
He noted achievements like the ratification of the strategic arms treaty, or START, and the ability to deal with Iran and North Korean threats as markers.
The vice president also noted he and President Obama will tell "anyone willing to listen" that Russia being a part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is critical component to America's trade agenda.
"It's better for America and I believe better for Russia to be able to trade with each other under predictable and transparent rules," Biden said.
Biden had a message of investment and merging economic ties that will help not only the U.S. and Russia, but also the global economy.
But his remarks weren't all warm and fuzzy.
The vice president said that alleged human and legal rights issues in Russia are hurting its economic potential. Biden said he wasn't there to lecture or tell Russia what to do, but the U.S. does speak out where there are disagreements, like Russia's disputes with Georgia and the imprisonment of ex-tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He said that things like the Khodorovsky situation hinder Russia from attracting business. He also encouraged an openness for the press.
The vice president added that being able to say those things - areas of disagreement - are part of what makes a good relationship and friends need to be able to be open with one another.
Earlier in the day, Biden had meetings with journalists human rights activists, religious leaders.
The remarks were made at the Moscow State University and sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce.
Dana Perino is also a Fox News Contributor.