Fight against diseases and development of new energy forms will unite Russian and US scientists

Russian and American scientists will be united by joint fight against diseases and by attempts to develop new forms of energetics, believes US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow.

He spoke in RIA Novosti on Friday at the presentation of the scientific magazine "V Mire Nauki" /In the World of Science/, which is a joint Russian-US project to publish in Russian the Scientific American magazine.

Admitting that confrontation between the USSR and the USA "created incentives to promote science in both countries", the ambassador pointed out that at present scientists of the two countries "had new challenges in new conditions". "Now they are on the same side and their relations will be strengthened by solving global problems, such as the fight against AIDS, SARS, the search for new energy sources etc." The brain drain from Russia to the US is falling, moreover, many qualified Russian specialists return from the US to Russia, thanks to the stable economic growth in the country, Vershbow said.

While speaking on tourism and the prospect of visa-free trips for young people, students and postgraduates from Russia to the USA, the ambassador pointed out that "America's security still requires to postpone this kind of trips and to check more thoroughly US entry documents". "Apply for a visa well in advance and you will not have problems with delayed entrance to the country," he said.

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 have affected tourism, Vershbow admitted. "Russia, however, was the first to get over the fear for aeroplanes: last year the number of tourists who travelled from Russia to the USA was 8 per cent higher in comparison with 2001. Now we have launched a practice of issuing visa for multiple visits to the USA," the ambassador explained.

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