"Of course [Mitt] Romney's remarks, calling Russia the No. 1 geopolitical foe of the US, alarmed many of us," he says. "But things have deteriorated badly in reality under Obama.... After all this, many of my colleagues and I had already come around to the view that not much would change after the election, regardless of which candidate won.
Mr. Kremeniuk adds: "At this point, we would consider it a good scenario if things don't go badly wrong between us in Obama's second term."
A September public opinion survey by the state-run VTsIOM public opinion agency found that positive attitudes toward the US has slipped modestly from 59 percent in 2010 to 53 percent today, while negative views have grown from 27 to 32 percent. Assessments of the prospects for better US-Russian relations have fallen more dramatically, from 69 percent two years ago to 53 percent today.
Experts say the reset, which sought to overcome the deep chill that settled over Russia-US relations during the presidency of George W. Bush, had a few solid achievements, but failed to move beyond initial successes to identify and pursue a comprehensive new agenda of cooperation.
Chief among the accomplishments was the signing of the first full-scale nuclear arms reduction treaty, New START, about a year after the reset began. Another major benefit was logged earlier this year when Russia granted the US use of a Volga-region airbase to aid the resupply effort to beleaguered NATO forces in Afghanistan.