Trump and Putin
Pedestrians cross the street behind a billboard showing a pictures of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Danilovgrad, Montenegro, Nov. 16. 2016. REUTERS/Stevo Vasiljevic

President-elect Donald Trump said he would keep the latest sanctions on Russia “at least for a period of time” but added that he might drop them if Moscow helps Washington in its fight against terrorism, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

In an interview with the Journal, Trump said that if Russia is helpful in reaching other goals important to the U.S., he would let go of the penalties imposed by President Barack Obama in December over Moscow’s role in the cyberattacks during the November presidential election.

“If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?” the 70-year-old president-elect told the Journal.

Trump also said that he is ready to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin some time after he is sworn in as the U.S. president on Jan. 20.

“I understand that they [the Russians] would like to meet, and that’s absolutely fine with me,” he said.

Throughout his year-long presidential campaign, Trump has maintained he would establish good diplomatic relations with Russia. However, several Republicans are of the opinion that Trump administration should take a tough stance against Moscow — especially since U.S. intelligence agencies recently found that Russian hackers were involved in the November 2016 cyberattacks, in which information about the Democratic Party was leaked. The leak raised questions over the credibility of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and possibly influenced the election in Trump’s favor.

On Friday, several reports surfaced saying that Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who will be Trump’s national security adviser, got in touch with Sergei I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., the day before Obama imposed the latest sanctions on Russia. The reports raised fresh concerns about contacts between Trump’s advisers and Russian officials.

However, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said that the two officials spoke to arrange a call between Putin and Trump after he takes the office.

“The call centered around the logistics of setting up a call with the president of Russia and the president-elect after he was sworn in, and they exchanged logistical information,” Spicer said. “That was it, plain and simple.”

Trump’s relations with Russia also came under scanner after unsubstantiated reports claimed that Kremlin officials had “compromising” information on the real estate tycoon pertaining to his extensive contacts with Moscow authorities. The 35-page dossier, which also contained graphic descriptions of sexual acts allegedly performed in Trump's presence, triggered controversy across political circles, with some pointing at the president-elect's past support for Putin as supporting evidence for these claims.

Trump, however, has vehemently denied the allegations.

"A thing like that should have never been written," the president-elect said earlier this week.