Faced with a lack of high technology, Vladimir Putin is looking for “new solutions”

Is this the first admission of weakness in a Russia brimming with patriotic pride and in the midst of a conflict in Ukraine, or a call to action for future new partners? Contrary to his habits, Vladimir Putin acknowledged on Russian television on Monday that sanctions imposed by the West were starting to create a problem. And especially in one sector, the advanced technology sector.

Head of the Kremlin thereby called on Russian economic players, still dependent on imports, to overcome serious difficulties. Since the offensive in Ukraine, tech giants (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Adobe, Cisco) have actually left the country, which has become a pariah, or suspended at least part of their activities in the country, leaving consumers, business, Russia. administration and users without alternative.

At the same time, crackdowns on critics of the Russian offensive and the severing of air and financial ties with the West have led to an estimated exodus of at least tens of thousands of Russians working in the new technology sector, already widening the deficit. existing.

Develop “national innovative” technologies

“Realizing the formidable challenges we face, we will intensively and intelligently look for new solutions,” he said during a meeting broadcast on public television, noting that his country is facing a blockade of “almost total” access to Western technology.

He also called for the development of “new innovative national companies”.

“We are not going to give up,” he insisted.

“Today, our country is not just limited, but almost completely blocked access to foreign high-tech products,” said Vladimir Putin, who has been waging war in Ukraine since February 24.

However, the Kremlin has already placed China at the center of its new system of alliances. But other partnerships could emerge, such as Brazil, which agreed to buy Russian diesel fuel five days ago, or India.

In St. Petersburg, Russia is placing China at the center of its system of economic unions.

Russian venture capital lacks

vladimir French fries also pointed out that Russian tech giants such as Yandex or Ozon also faced serious problems because they financed themselves in Western markets or thanks to foreign financial institutions.

“It is necessary to quickly develop such mechanisms in the Russian financial system so that fast-growing Russian companies can attract domestic private capital for their development,” he said. French fries.

Arrests of opponents continue in Russia

At the same time, the context, already difficult for opponents of Vladimir Putin’s regime, seems to be tightening even more in Russia. Over the past three days, several adversaries with a strong social media presence (some sites are no longer accessible without a VPN) in Russia have been arrested by the police.

Russian opponent and former political adviser Leonid Gozman, who also has an Israeli passport and with whom Gallery said he was arrested on Friday, July 15, by an “investigative committee,” he said on his Facebook account. Released, however, he fears more serious charges.

Also a journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who worked for the state-run Russia 1 channel and interrupted the live broadcast of a hostile war with a sign, was arrested Sunday, July 17, in Moscow, according to a video posted on her Telegram channel. Two days earlier, she had denounced Vladimir Putin’s invasion by waving a placard in front of the Kremlin. His whereabouts remain unknown to this day.

Then opponent Andrey Pivovarov, a former director of the public organization Open Russia, was sentenced on Friday to four years in prison for leading an illegal political movement, the press service of the Krasnodar court said.

Open Russia has been linked to Russian businessman and exiled opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Earlier in Russia, the organization “Open Russia” was considered “undesirable”, and last year the movement ceased its activities in Russia to protect its associates. Several regional leaders of Open Russia have been imprisoned for what their supporters say are politically motivated.

At the military level according to local officials, WithNine people were killed on Monday in a bombing attack on Toretsk, in eastern Ukraine, where Moscow appears to be ramping up operations as the European Union wants to step up pressure on Russia with new sanctions.

“After Putin, we will have a democratic government” (Leonid Gozman)

(jointly with AFP and Reuters)