"We expect the new administration and new president of the United States to take constructive and reasonable positions and to demonstrate a desire for compromise on the most complicated issues," Dmitry Medvedev told Indian media ahead of his visit to the country.
"The words that we have recently heard from Washington inspire moderate optimism," the Russian president added.
A planned U.S. missile shield for central Europe, which Washington claims is necessary to counter possible strikes from "rogue" states like Iran, remains one of the most difficult and pressing issues in relations between Russia and the U.S.
Moscow has fiercely opposed the planned U.S. deployment of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic, saying they will pose a threat to its national security.
Medvedev threatened to deploy Iskander-M short-range missiles in the country's Kaliningrad exclave, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania, if the U.S. missile defense system was deployed in central Europe.
However, Medvedev subsequently said in an interview with France's Figaro newspaper that Russia could "reconsider this response if the new U.S. administration is ready to once again review and analyze all the consequences of its decisions to deploy the missiles and radar facilities."
After Obama's U.S. presidential election victory, one of his foreign policy advisers said the president-elect was not committed to the missile shield, and would only continue with the project if its effectiveness was proven.
Obama, who campaigned on a "change" ticket, has been criticized in some quarters for giving jobs to Washington insiders. As well as announce that he will keep Robert Gates as defense secretary, he has also declared former first lady Hillary Clinton as his choice for secretary of state.