Donald Trump has said he will keep sanctions against Russia in place "at least for a period of time".
However, the President-elect told the Wall Street Journal that he might do away with the sanctions if Moscow proves helpful in battling terrorists and
achieving other goals.
He said: "If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody's doing some really great things?"
Mr Trump also told the newspaper he is prepared to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin some time after he is sworn in on 20 January.
"I understand that they would like to meet, and that's absolutely fine with me," he said.
The sanctions were imposed by the Obama administration in late December in response to Moscow's alleged cyberattacks during the election campaign.
They targeted the GRU and FSB, leading Russian intelligence agencies that the US said were involved in the hacking of the Democratic National
Committee and other groups.
The US also kicked out 35 Russian diplomats who it said were actually intelligence operatives.
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The remarks by Mr Trump come at a time when alleged ties between his campaign and Russia - and his own friendly posture toward Moscow - have come
under intense scrutiny.
On Friday it emerged that Mr Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russia's ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, have been in
frequent contact in recent weeks, including on the day the Obama administration imposed the sanctions.
While it is not unusual for incoming administrations to have discussions with foreign governments before taking office, the timings of the contacts
would raise questions about whether Mr Trump's team discussed Russia's response to the measures.
Mr Trump has promised a friendlier relationship with Moscow.
"If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability, because we have a horrible relationship with Russia," he said on Wednesday
during his first news conference since the election.
He repeatedly dismissed US intelligence agencies' assertions about Russia's role in the hacking of Democratic groups, though he acknowledged for the
first time during the news conference that he accepts that Moscow was behind the hacking.
Mr Trump has rejected as "fake news" a report that includes unsubstantiated claims that Russia had amassed compromising personal and financial
information about him.
He blamed the report on "sleazebag political operatives".
The report was put together by a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who is now thought to have fled his Surrey home fearing for his and his
In the interview with the WSJ, Mr Trump also said he would not commit to the "One China" policy until he sees progress from Beijing in its currency
and trade practices.
"Everything is under negotiation including One China," he said.
The US acknowledgement of the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of China had underpinned relations between Washington and Beijing for decades.
Mr Trump already angered the Chinese by taking a congratulatory phone call after his election win from Taiwan's leader and questioning the "one China"
edit on 14-1-2017 by Pandaram because: (no reason given)