Some praise the move as an opportunity to change the dynamics with an old foe, relations with whom had soured under the Bush administration since Russia's invasion of Georgia in 2008. Russia viewed the plan for a land-based system in Eastern Europe as unnecessary US interference in the regional balance of power.
But Russia, which should be rejoicing in the Obama administration's decision on missile defense, is already making new demands on US trade restrictions, notes David Kramer of the German Marshall Fund, a public policy group based in Washington.
"Give him some ground on one issue, and they look to seize ground on another," he says. "Their appetite is insatiable."
Onus now on Russia
Still, a senior Kremlin official told Reuters Friday that President Obama's move had opened the door for greater cooperation on arms reduction and nuclear nonproliferation, especially on Iran.
President Dmitry Medvedev, who is to meet Mr. Obama Sept. 23 in New York, said in an interview published Friday that Russia would listen more attentively to US concerns, though there would be no "primitive compromises."