He said sanctions had not stopped foreign direct investment and economic partnerships between Russia and other countries which are overseen by RDIF which has $10 billion of reserved capital under management.
"We have partnerships with 20 top sovereign wealth funds, we were able to generate teen returns (returns above 10 percent) on dollars every year for the last seven years, and they are actively investing with us. So, we'll continue to attract major investment from Asia, from Middle East, (and) U.S. businesses," he said, noting that 30 new U.S. companies had opened operations in Russia last year.
"Coca Cola and Pepsi, McDonalds, all of these, they're just quietly present in the Russian market, taking advantage. So, yes, sanctions do matter, but investment flows are happening," he said.
On a political level, Dmitriev said sanctions undermined attempts to weaken Putin, adding that "sanctions are actually hurting the liberal agenda in Russia."
"U.S. sanctions, European sanctions, are making more conservative people in Russia stronger, and basically say, 'Why would we even want to attract foreign investment? Let's be separate.' So, frankly, sanctions are hindering the liberal agenda in Russia, and that's another example how they're really not well thought through. They don't achieve any positive result, but they have lots of negative externalities," he said.
Despite his criticism of foreign sanctions, Dmitriev recognized that more needed to be done at a domestic level to improve Russia's economy, saying the country needed "to become more efficient in many industries."
"The president is undertaking a number of national projects, to improve our infrastructure, our health care, to diversify our economies," he said.