Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the re-election of President Barack Obama could improve relations with the United States. Putin called his U.S. counterpart ‘a genuine person” who “really wants to change much for the better.
Speaking to Russia’s state-run television channel, he said a second Obama term could help solve disputes over missile defense. According to the Wall Street Journal, US’ relations with Russia recently heated up when Obama was inadvertently caught on an open microphone telling Putin’s predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev, that he would have ‘more flexibility’ after the election to address Russia’s concerns over the proposed U.S. antimissile shield in Europe .
Republicans denounced Obama’s comments as a sign of weakness, and Romney called Russia was America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe,’ the paper said. According to the report, during the interview, Putin called Romney’s tough stance on Russia a ‘pre-election rhetoric.’
Putin said such talk was ‘mistaken’ electioneering, adding he was prepared to work with whomever Americans elect. He warned, however, that a Romney victory could complicate attempts to resolve Russia’s opposition to the shield.
“Our American partners tell us, ‘It’s not [aimed] against you.’ But what if the president of the United States will be Mr. Romney, who considers us enemy No. 1?” Putin said.