Cablegate: Mayor Daley Visit: Moscow and Chicago Press

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1. (SBU) Summary: Mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley,
accompanied by advisors and business leaders, visited Moscow
September 2-6, 2009. The purpose of the visit included
promoting commercial and cultural exchange between the
cities, reaffirming the Moscow-Chicago Sister City
relationship, and discussing Chicago's 2016 Summer Olympic
bid. The visit was an overwhelming success as Moscow and
Chicago hit the "reset" button on a city-to-city level. The
visit also resulted in closer ties between the U.S. Embassy
and the Moscow City government. End Summary.

Sister City Exchange

2. (SBU) Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley led a delegation of
business and government leaders to Moscow September 2-6. His
trip was to reciprocate for the visit of First Deputy Mayor
Vladimir Resin to Chicago in April 2009 to attend the Chicago
Global Cities Forum. Daley's delegation focused on promoting
increased commercial and cultural exchange between the two
cities. The trip, sponsored by the Chicagoland Chamber of
Commerce and World Business Chicago, built on the sister
cities relationship established between Chicago and Moscow in

3. (SBU) Daley met with Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov to sign
an agreement that renewed the ties between their cities.
Daley commended Luzhkov on his continuing efforts to
revitalize Moscow through more cultural exchanges, greening
projects, and outreach to business leaders worldwide. He
named public education, mass transit, water conservation, and
other environmental issues as some of the challenges facing
Chicago and urban areas around the world.

Increased Business Cooperation

4. (SBU) Daley was the keynote presenter at a business
meeting with 100 leading Russian entrepreneurs. During his
presentation, Daley said, "I have always maintained that the
things that unite cities far outweighs any difference we
might have." He added, "I believe the business relationship
between Chicago and Moscow is strong, and we want it to grow
stronger." Daley reminded meeting participants that the
Chicago Customs District had $83 million in imports from
Russia and $138 million in exports to Russia in 2008. He
also pointed out that 35 companies based in the Chicago area
have operations in Russia, including McDonald's, Motorola,
and several law firms. Chicago-based Boeing has a
significant presence in Moscow, the site of one of its design
centers worldwide. Daley's staffers also met with members of
the Ministry of Trade to discuss the Russia National
Exhibition in Chicago, which is slated for November 18-21.
The purpose of the exhibit is to describe and present Russia,
its culture, and its trade potential.

2016 Olympic Bid

5. (SBU) Daley complimented Russia for its leadership in
winning the competition to host the 2014 Winter Olympics
which will be held in Sochi. Chicago is the United States of
America's candidate city to host the 2016 Summer Olympic and
Paraolympic Games. Daley said that if Chicago is successful
in securing the games in the final round of competition in
Copenhagen next month he looks forward to working with Russia
to strengthen the Olympic Movement.

6. (SBU) On September 4, Daley and Mike Roberts, former
President and COO of McDonalds and Vice Chairman, Chicago
2016, met with Vitaly Mutko, the Russian Federation's
Minister of Sports, Tourism, and Youth Policy. Although
Daley and Roberts openly sought the Minister's support for
Chicago 2016, they focused on global benefits they expected
to result from such close business cooperation between the
U.S. and Russia. Linking Chicago's Olympic bid with Russia's
hopes towards hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup and possibly
even a U.S. bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Daley and
Roberts presented a farsighted perspective on the possible
outcome of closer U.S. and Russian coordination, cooperation,
and healthy competition, especially in the sports arena.

Media Attention

7. (SBU) Mayor Daley's visit attracted significant media
attention. Vesti 24 broadcast segments of an interview with

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the Mayor on its evening news program September 7 and 8th.
Local Moscow television channel Stolitza and RIA Novosti wire
service covered the Mayor's visit. Vedomosti, a business
newspaper, interviewed Mayor Daley and is writing a story on
the Mayor's visit. Bloomberg also interviewed him as part of
an article for the Olympics. AP published a series of
photographs of the Mayor's visit.


8. (SBU) Daley and Luzhkov clearly strengthened city-to-city
relations during the visit. Moreover, Luzhkov attended a
reception at the Ambassador's residence for the first time in
over a decade and delivered a speech about improving
U.S.-Russian relations before more than 100 guests, including
State Duma members, members of the MFA, famous athletes, and
journalists. After the Moscow City Day celebration, Luzhkov
personally took Daley on a three-hour private tour of Moscow
and capped the excursion with a bear hug. The two men were
on a first name basis by the end of the visit. The Daley
visit also deepened channels of communication between the
U.S. Embassy and the Moscow City government, enabling us to
further strengthen relations at the working level.


9. (SBU) The Daley visit was an enormous success and we saw
tangible results of the "reset" policy on the city-to-city
level. The closer ties will give us the opportunity to have
a broader dialogue with city officials on a range of issues.


© Scoop Media

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