Russia and the U.S. must find a way to resolve their differences on the international stage in order to improve the overall health of the global economy, Russia's finance minister told CNBC on Thursday.
His comments come amid a long series of provocations and flare-ups between Moscow and Washington in recent years, whose relations are seen by many as at their worst since the Cold War.
Last month, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's completed report into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election that there was no evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.
When asked whether there was a tangible sense of relief among Moscow's business community after a summary of the Mueller report was released, Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov replied: "We have never had any doubts in the conclusions of that report, on the one hand."
"On the other hand, I think that it is not really about the results of that investigation; the problem lies with the overall state of relations between our two countries."
"This is not the best climate for business development… I think that we need to strengthen our links, both economic and political links, between the U.S. and Russia. This would be of benefit to the global economy and, to our countries, our people and our entrepreneurs, first and foremost," Siluanov told CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche in Washington on Thursday.