OTTAWA — Russia's ambassador to Canada says the U.S. election of president-elect Donald Trump was a victory for common sense and pragmatism.
Alexander Darchiev told CTV's "Question Period" that Trump's presidency will provide a "promising opening for Russian-American relations," which he acknowledged are not currently in great shape.
Trump frequently called Russian President Vladimir Putin a stronger leader than U.S. President Barack Obama during the election campaign and primaries.
Trump also questioned American security guarantees under NATO in Europe and said he would "look into" removing sanctions imposed on Russia in relation to the conflict in the Crimea.
The U.S. Department Of Homeland Security, meanwhile, and the director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement last month that directly accused the Russian government of directing the email hack of "U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations."
Darchiev told CTV the assertions of Russian interference were simply election campaign "rumours."
"I think that was the blunder on the part of Hillary Clinton to flex cheap Russophobia at the centrepiece of her election campaign," said Darchiev.
Trump openly invited Russian hackers to help him find deleted emails of his Democratic presidential opponent in July.
"Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 33,000 emails that are missing — I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press," he said at a news conference in Florida.
Darchiev called the idea "preposterous" that foreign interference could influence Trump's election to lead a key world power like the United States.
"His election is a victory of common sense and pragmatism, of time-proven geopolitics where national interests — not ideological cliches — do matter," Darchiev told CTV.
The Canadian Press