Background- 2009, Barack Obama announced plans to scale back on missile defense plans directly after his first major meeting with Russia. These plans are still opposed by National Security insiders today.
A quick reminder into very recent history (late March 2012) where Barack Obama was embarrassingly caught on open mike asking Russia for "space" on the missile defense negotiations so he would have more "flexibility" after the November 2012 presidential election.
Via The Politico, which was only one of the massive network media coverage on this:
President Barack Obama offered a private request Monday to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for some “space” on missile defense ahead of November’s elections.
“On all these issues, particularly on missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama said, referring to incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a TV pool reporter who heard audio recorded by a Russian reporter who was in the room moments before the two leaders spoke to reporters after their 90-minute meeting.
“Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you,” Medvedev responded.
A U.S. pool video camera in the room caught part of the audio, but not the piece about missile defense.
“This is my last election,” Obama said in audio that could be heard on the TV pool’s recording and that POLITICO listened to. “After my election I have more flexibility.”
Jumping forward to reports today, May 3, 2012, Russia is threatening pre-emptively strike and destroy U.S.-led NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe if talks with Washington about the developing system continue to stall.
“A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.
The threat comes as talks about the missile defense system, which the U.S. and its allies insist is aimed at Iranian missiles, appear to have stalled.
“We have not been able to find mutually acceptable solutions at this point, and the situation is practically at a dead end,” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.
Obama's previous stance on missile defense, hand-in-hand with his statements about space and flexibility on missile defense when he thought he couldn't be heard, should assure Russia that if Obama wins reelection they will get their way.
The fact that they are making threats and preparations of this nature are indicative of the Russian government not believing that Obama can get reelected in 2012.