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No proof that Russia was involved in hacking: Trump team

04 Jan 2017 | Written by NewsBytes Desk; Edited by Mansi Motwani
Dynamics of US-Russia relations

Donald Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer stated that there was no evidence to suggest Russian hacking influenced the US Presidential elections.

He added that it would be unwise to comment on the matter until an intelligence report is completed and released later this week.

He clarified that "The idea that we're jumping to conclusions before we have a final report is irresponsible."

In context: Dynamics of US-Russia relations

US-RussiaUS-Russia ties at a glance

The post-cold war era has been a geopolitical conflict between Russia and the US over strategic control of the former Soviet states.

In the 2008 Russo-Georgian war, George Bush offered NATO-membership to Ukraine and Georgia; this was blocked by France and Germany; they did not want to further offend Russia, as they would bear the brunt of a regional conflict and not the US.

EU's energy dependence on Moscow vs NATO

EU members are precariously perched between US-Russia geopolitical friction, due to their reliance on Russia for over 70% of their energy needs and their reliance on the US and NATO for security. Hence, Germany and to some-extent France, play peacemaker between the bear and eagle.
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Ukraine, SyriaCurrent US-Russia tensions

Russia's intervention and subsequent annexation of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine created a diplomatic crisis; Russia blamed it on the US overthrowing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and fomenting ethnic clashes in eastern Ukraine.

Russia's assistance to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also irked the US, who were attempting to overthrow the regime.

These 2 incidents severely strained US-Russia relations in the last 5 years.

The allegationsAllegations against Russia

In 2015 and early 2016, hackers broke into the Democratic National Committee servers and created outlets on the internet to make the Democratic documents public.

The documents included Hillary Clinton's emails and internal communications of the DNC.

It forced the resignation of the DNC Chairwoman and created a rift between supporters of Clinton and Sanders (as it showed internal DNC bias against Sanders.)

Democrats blame Russia for hacks, election loss

By September, as the Democratic campaign began to falter President Obama was quick to point the finger at Russia. After the loss in November, Obama and Clinton together blamed Russia for the Democrats' defeat saying there was Russian state sanction for the hack.

04 Jan 2017No proof that Russia was involved in hacking: Trump team

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Trump and Russia?What does Trump seek to gain by appeasing Russia?

In 2016 Russia was the top oil producer followed by Saudi Arabia and the US; Trump's Secretary of State, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, is known to be a close acquaintance of Putin.

Other analysts draw comparisons to Trump and Putin's common conservative-Christian, anti-gay political outlook.

Some say Trump is grateful for Russia for handing the US elections to him on a silver platter.

07 Jan 2017Putin ordered 'influence campaign' in US polls: US Intelligence

According to a report by US Intelligence, an "influence campaign" was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the 2016 Presidential Elections.

According to the report, "The Russian government had aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavourably to him."

It also said the Russian government had "developed a clear preference" for Trump.

14 Jan 2017May repeal sanctions against Russia; may not commit to One-China

In an interview, US President-elect Donald Trump said he would keep the sanctions against Russia" at least for a period of time".

However, if Russia cooperated with the US, Trump said he may do away with the sanctions.

He further added that he won't commit to the "one China" policy till he witnesses improvement from "Beijing in its currency and trade practices".

30 Jan 2017Trump, Putin talk on counter-terrorism

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had their first official telephone call, in what the White House called a "significant step" in a relationship that needs repairs.

Sources in the Kremlin stated that Trump and Putin agreed to make combating terrorism a top priority.

They also discussed the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iran's nuclear programme, North Korea and Ukraine.

05 Feb 2017Trump: Will work with Russia to resolve Ukraine crisis

US President Donald Trump had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Trump stated that he will work closely with Kiev and Moscow to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

Ukrainian officials said Trump and Poroshenko vowed to end the conflict and achieve "peace via political and diplomatic means."

Recent flare-ups in eastern Ukraine has increased tensions between Russia and Ukraine.