During his annual call-in TV show:
OLEG BELAN: Good afternoon, Mr Putin. Nenets Autonomous Area. I am Oleg Belan and I am a deputy of the regional assembly.
Do you think our relations with the United States will change after the election of Barack Obama as President? Will they become more pragmatic and constructive? Thank you.
VLADIMIR PUTIN: The question should be directed first and foremost to the new US Administration. Usually, when there is a change of power in any country, especially such a superpower as the United States, such changes do take place. We very much hope that the changes will be positive.
We see these positive signals. What are they? Look at the meeting of NATO foreign ministers: both Ukraine and Georgia have been denied a Membership Action Plan. We already hear at the level of experts, the people who are close to the President elect and the people around him, his aides, that there should be no hurry, that relations with Russia should not be jeopardised. We already hear that the practicability of deploying the third position of missile defence in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic should be considered once again.
We hear that the relations with Russia should be built with respect for our interests. If these are not just words, and if they are translated into practical policies, then of course we will react in kind and our American partners will immediately feel it.