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Russian business leader and Putin ally: 'We hope this internal rift in the US heals'

Max Zahn

Amid ongoing allegations of Russian meddling in U.S. politics, a Russian business leader and ally of President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia wants the U.S. to resolve its political infighting.

“We hope this internal rift in the U.S. heals,” Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday.

The CEO is known for attending a meeting with President Donald Trump ally Erik Prince in the Seychelles, a few days before Trump took office.

The public comments from Dmitriev contrast with findings of U.S. intelligence agencies, which determined Russia meddled in the 2016 election and since has continued to sow division in the U.S. Last August, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said , “We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States.”

‘If the U.S. economy slows down, that affects the world’

Dmitriev on Thursday called for “reconciliation” between the United States and Russia, lamenting how “infighting and internal politics in the U.S. ... affects U.S. ability to work with other nations.”

Responding to a question from Yahoo Finance about whether in fact Russia likes to see the U.S. in disarray, Dmitriev said: “Frankly we understand if the U.S. economy slows down, that affects the world.”

“Our view is we can be partners with Asia, we can be partners with the Middle East,” Dmitriev continued. “But if we can figure out a way to resume U.S-Russia cooperation there is no question that the world will be more stable, and markets would appreciate it and we’d have fewer geopolitical tensions.”

Dmitriev has led the Russia Investment Fund since it was established in 2011 by former President Dmitry Medvedev with the express purpose of restoring confidence in Russia’s investment climate. The Fund has worked with foreign investors on 70 investments totaling about $25 billion, according to Dmitriev and the Fund’s website .

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 13 Russian nationals, 12 members of Russia’s military intelligence agency and three Russian companies in connection with the alleged effort to interfere with the 2016 election.

For his part, Dmitriev said he wants the U.S. government shutdown to end.

“We generally hope ... shutdown stops and federal workers get paid,” he said.

Max Zahn is a reporter for Yahoo Finance.

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