We appreciate the professionalism of the Trump administration: RDIF CEO

CNBC, 16.01.2017

The track record of President-elect Donald Trump's incoming administration gives us good cause for hope, the chief of the Russia's sovereign wealth fund has told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"We very much appreciate the professionalism of the new Trump administration," Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said.

"We are very impressed with his comments about Russia. We are very realistic that it's going to be a difficult road ahead but we believe it is in the national interest of the U.S. and the world for Russia and the U.S. to have good relations, to have areas where we can work together," he expounded.

Clarifying that he was speaking about the broader cabinet and not merely the President-elect, Dmitriev singled out the incoming Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, as particularly suited for his role.

The CEO pointed to what he sees as among the negative effects for both the U.S. and Russia as a result of hostile relations,asserting that U.S. businesses were losing out on around $100 billion of opportunities in Russia as a consequence.

He disclosed that a big contingent of U.S. business chiefs would be welcomed to Moscow this Spring in a bid to improve cooperation in commercial endeavors between the two countries.

Pressed on elevated concerns among American politicians and citizens that Russian hacks interfered to influence the outcome of the U.S.presidential election last November, Dmitriev argued that it was time for the media to move on.

Turning to Europe, the RDIF chief emphasized that he did not expect a stronger tie between Russia and the U.S. to be to the detriment of Europe.

"We want to have great relations with Europe as well," he offered, adding that he saw the impending change of president in France following this year's May election as a great opportunity for Russia.

Speaking to Russia's appetite to increase levels of communication more broadly going forward, Dmitriev also mentioned Saudi Arabia as a potential partner for cooperation, given the two sides' ability to agree last year's deal to limit oil supply in a bid to boost its struggling price.

"Saudi Arabia and Russia can also have major progress together," he concluded.