“California is the fifth largest economy in the world. The Silicon Valley, the Pacific region — these are very important areas of world. I hope that they can be places where Russians and Americans become closer in their collaboration," Brown told reporters on Saturday.
When asked whether he was afraid of what would be said in Washington about such an approach to Russia, Brown replied in the negative.
Brown noted that possible new cooperation between Russia and California’s companies would be disclosed at the upcoming Fort Ross Dialogue.
“We look forward to that and we will be discussing some of these things at the Fort Ross Dialogue, and I am looking forward to that expanding now this year and in the years to come as a basis of focusing Russia and US relations in the Pacific and the West, where there is a lot of opportunity,” he stressed.
Relations between the United States and Russia worsened following disagreements over the crisis in Ukraine. The US imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia after Crimea held a referendum in 2014 in which a vast majority of residents chose to reunify with Russia. Washington also accused Moscow of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and imposed additional rounds of sanctions. Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations.
When asked what should be done to improve relations between the two nations, Brown said that first of all, "what needs to be done is more dialogue, more communication."
Brown spoke after the unveiling and blessing of a memorial cross at the Fort Ross Orthodox Cemetery in California.
Fort Ross is a former Russian settlement founded in 1812. Now it is a California state park, included in the list of National Historic Landmarks and the National Register of Historic Places. The cemetery, with 131 identified grave sites, is located next to the park.
The cemetery was also registered as a military burial site after representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry in the United States discovered in 2016 in the military archives that several sailors of the Russian Imperial Navy had been buried there.