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MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled on Wednesday a statue of U.S. poet Walt Whitman at Moscow State University.
According to the Russia Peace Foundation, the monument was a reciprocal gift from the mayor of Washington, D.C. for a statue of Russia's national poet Alexander Pushkin, which was presented to the U.S. capital in September 2000 by the mayor of Moscow in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Pushkin's birth.
"Pushkin and Whitman reset poetry and we are resetting our relationships in the 21st century", Clinton said.
"Our relations are not just between governments but between Russian and American people," she added.
She also cited Whitman: "You Russians, and we, Americans!... so far apart from each other, so seemingly different, and yet... in ways that are most important, our countries are so alike."
These words are also written on the monument.
The U.S. Secretary of State was joined in the ceremony by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov.
Whitman (1819-1892) was a poet, journalist and essayist, and is often referred to as America's first "poet of democracy."
Clinton is currently paying a three-day official visit in Russia. She is due to leave Moscow later on Wednesday for Kazan, the capital of Russia's Muslim republic of Tatarstan.
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