Of course they are, Obama now has the “flexibility” he promised them.

MOSCOW (ABC News) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a congratulatory note to President Obama after his re-election Tuesday, his spokesman said. The Kremlin says it will make the text public after the Americans have received it.

Putin is also expected to call Obama personally “in the near future.”

“In general, the Kremlin took the news about Barack Obama’s victory in the elections very positively,” spokesman Dmitri Peskov said, according to the Interfax news agency.

“We have the hope that positive initiatives in bilateral relations and in Russian-U.S. interaction on the international arena in the interests of international security and stability will be developed and improved,” he added.

It is perhaps not surprising that the Kremlin is pleased with the outcome of the election, especially since President Obama told then-President Dmitri Medvedev earlier this year that he would have more flexibility after the election to negotiate NATO plans to place components of a missile-defense shield in Eastern Europe.

Russia has expressed concerns that the system is aimed at them, although the United States and NATO insist it is designed to counter an Iranian attack.

Obama’s remarks, caught on an open microphone at a summit in Seoul, South Korea, drew sharp criticism from Republicans who suggested that the president was too soft on Russia and not honest with the U.S. public about his intentions for missile defense.