Obama's re-election has favorable effect on Russia-U.S. relations, according to experts

U.S. President Barack Obama's re-election will have a positive effect on Russia-U.S. relations and assist in the solution of missile defense problems, Russian foreign policy experts believe.

"The re-election of Obama will have a favorable effect on Russia-U.S. relations. He had a limited amount of space for maneuvering in relations with Moscow over the past year due to the conservatives' harsh criticism of the Obama policy aimed to improve relations with Russia," Political Research Institute Director Sergei Markov told Interfax on Wednesday.

The U.S. president was constricted by the election campaign but unofficially demonstrated the intention to change Russia-U.S. relations for the better, he said.

"The neo-conservatives persuaded Mitt Romney to call Russia its No. 1 geopolitical foe of the United States. That criticism prevented Obama from taking any serious steps in its relations with Russia. Yet non-publicly Obama continued to display his wish for better relations with Moscow," the expert said.

Transformations in Georgia, which is under the U.S. influence, are a serious sign of the positive intentions of Obama, Markov said. "Georgia has a new government, which is not controlled by Mikheil Saakashvili - a person hostile to Russia. The United States prohibited the Georgian president from thwarting the election, riggin votes and oppressing the opposition, among them Ivanishvili. Besides, the Obama administration played a positive role by saying that it would welcome the restoration of diplomatic relations between Moscow and Tbilisi. That, in turn, would alleviate regional tensions," Markov said.

"It is hard for Obama to do anything with regard to missile defense because is under heavy public pressure. The pressure will soon be gone and the re-elected president will have more possibilities to improve relations with Russia. Positive signals from Moscow would be of great help for Obama," the expert said.

"Earlier promises of Obama to make progress in the missile defense issue after his re-election give us hope for a certain improvement in the Moscow-Washington relation," Center for Political Technologies President Igor Bunin said.

"Obama promised that even the missile defense problem might be solved more easily after his re-election. This means relations may improve," Bunin told Interfax on Wednesday.

The Obama election victory means that Russia-U.S. relations will have a better atmosphere but the victory of the Republican Party candidate would not have caused a sharp deterioration either, the expert said.

"I do not think that our relations could have plunged into a cold war with the victory of Romney. His claims of the evil coming from Russia were targeted at the audience of states key to his election campaign, such as Pennsylvania - a place of residence of many ethnic Polish minors and Florida with its numerous Cuban immigrants. These groups of voters are strongly anti-Russian. Actually, relations with Russia are not very important to American voters, with the exception of Cuban, Polish and Ukrainian immigrants," Bunin said.

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