Russian President Vladimir Putin entertained controversial Syrian president Bashar Assad in Moscow this week, despite Assad's status as a pariah to many Western governments. Russian forces, despite Moscow's insistences that they are only targeting terrorists, have been criticised by the U.S. for backing the embattled regime's military campaign in the war-torn country.
"It's very important that Assad goes to Russia, because unless you talk you won't find a solution," Kostin said.
He acknowledged the effect the cooling of relationships with the West was having on Russia's economy, which has been battered by plummeting oil prices. American credit ratings agency Moody's recently warned of the danger of challenges to the Russian government's much-prized creditworthiness posed by propping up a struggling economy while increasing defence spending.
"Never before, at least since the collapse of Soviet Union, has Russian business been so affected by the geopolitical situation," Kostin said.
"We are very against the use of economic instruments in political conflicts, but that's what we have."