Russia has openly supported Barack Obama. Even though the “restart” of the relationship between Washington and Moscow did not go entirely well with Obama, as it was planned, Russian leaders believe that Romney would be even more difficult to deal with.
In his speech in September 2012, the chief of Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, said that Obama is a righteous man, who is going to make many things better.
Putin continues, by saying that under Obama, relations between the U.S. and Russia have become better. He mentioned new arrangements with regards to nuclear weapons and Washington’s support for Russia’s membership in the WTO (World Trade Organization).
On November 6, Putin said that Obama was working hard to solve the problem with Russia concerning the rocket shield in Europe. The director of the Moscow Carnegie-Center, Dmitri Trenin, proclaimed today that if Putin had a chance to participate in the U.S. elections, Kremlin’s vote would be for Obama.
Former Russian President and close Putin partner, Dmitri Medvedev, said that he has sympathies for Obama, and that all in all, Obama would be a better president to cooperate with.
The reason for broad support for Obama in Russia is that Russian leaders hope that if Obama wins, they will come to the solution on the problem with the NATO shield in Europe. In Russia, the shield is seen as a threat to Russia’s security and is considered a domestic political issue.
Obama has also said that after the elections, if he wins, he will be more flexible about the issue.
On the other hand, Romney stated that America is “the geopolitical player number one,” and that there must be no flexibility with the Russians.
This did not pass unnoticed in Moscow. A political expert for American-Russian relations, Sergej Rogov, said that Romney’s victory would be a catastrophe for mutual relations.
It is interesting to notice the rising interest in Russia during this elections. Moreover, open interest of the Russian leadership is a sign that U.S.-Russia relations are taking a good path. In any case, one of the candidates is preferred by Kremlin. It is easy for Romney to say that he will be tougher with Russia at this point. However, as he has said himself, global politics is very complex. Whichever candidate wins, he has to make sure that relations with Russia continue to grow closer.