What you are seeing now is a consequence of a broader initiative from Vladimir Putin to restore the monopoly of power within his political leadership. He is trying to bring all of the key channels of power and money and influence more closely into his control, at least as far as the government and those people who occupy positions within his pyramid are concerned.
The relationship between the United States and Russia is on hold in 2012. The intensity of domestic political debate in Russia following disputed national elections and months of public protest, and in the United States leading up to November’s presidential contest, leaves little room for bold initiatives or high-profile summit diplomacy
The irony is actually that a Republican president is unlikely to do much very differently from President Obama. He has certainly been unique in his personal interest in the relationship. But the policies that Obama has implemented have been rational responses to America's interest. And any responsible Republican president will probably do the same.
During the resurgence of Russia, specifically after Putin comes to power and Russia begins to regain international standing, when Americans finally start to sit back and think about what had really happened in 1991 in a comprehensive way.
Putin has in many ways said all the right things, but even before you look at what he says, think about who he is. He has a lot of baggage and intelligence experience, a tough guy image, and he has the colorful personality to go along with those things. But fundamentally he is a competent manager.