Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the United States, Feb. 1, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the United States, Feb. 1, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday downplayed the escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow over alleged Russian hacking activities targeting the United States.

“It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things,” he said in a statement, adding he will meet with U.S. intelligence agencies next week to gather facts about the situation.

Trump’s remarks came after Washington introduced a series of actions against Russia Thursday that included imposing sanctions on Russia’s intelligence agencies, expelling 35 Russian agents and shutting two Russian compounds inside the United States.

U.S. intelligence had concluded that the hack and release of Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton staff emails was ordered by the Kremlin and was designed to put the Republican real estate mogul in the Oval Office.

But Moscow denied the accusations. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused the Obama administration of trying to “definitively destroy U.S.-Russia relations which have already reached a low,” adding that Moscow would “react in an adequate manner based on the principle of reciprocity.”

Trump, who will officially take office on Jan. 20, has repeatedly defended Russia on social media and has nominated pro-Russian business executive Rex Tillerson as secretary of state.

But any shifts in foreign policy in favor of Russia will likely meet stiff opposition from Congress, as senior lawmakers from both parties have vowed to punish Russia for its attacks. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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