Putin wants to overcome ‘colossal difficulties’ caused by sanctions

Speaking of a “huge challenge,” the Russian president called for the prudent use of existing Russian sovereign technologies and the development of “new innovative national companies.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Monday to overcome the serious difficulties associated with sanctions that have deprived Russia of Western high technology, on which it is very dependent.

“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. “Today, in relation to our country, not just a restriction, but an almost total blocking of access to foreign high-tech products is being carried out,” he said.

“We are not going to give up”

Russia is the target of extensive Western sanctions, and many foreign companies have withdrawn from the country in response to the military attack on Ukraine. Referring to the “enormous task”, he called for the effective use of existing Russian sovereign technologies and the development of “new innovative national companies”. “We are not going to give up,” he insisted.

After the attack on Ukraine, tech giants (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Adobe, Cisco) left Russia or suspended at least part of their activities in the country, leaving Russian consumers, businesses, administration and users with no alternative. Western suppliers have also stopped technical support for their Russian customers.

The same goes for products like Apple phones and computers, Cisco telecom systems, mobile app markets, and even operating systems like Windows. Currently, Russia has allowed the so-called “parallel” import of this type of goods, that is, without the consent of the owner of the intellectual property.

Exodus

On Monday, Vladimir Putin also pointed out that Russian tech giants such as Yandex or Ozon are also facing serious problems as they fund themselves in Western markets or through 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,” Vladimir Putin said.

The Kremlin has repeatedly said that Russia is resisting sanctions imposed by the West, but the effects of those sanctions are likely to be most felt in the coming months or years, cutting the country off from new technologies and global logistics and finance. chains. Moscow promises to offset these medium-term effects by developing Russian alternatives.

At the same time, crackdowns on critics of the Russian offensive in Ukraine 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. an existing deficit. According to Vladimir Putin, citing government data, by 2024 Russia will lack one million leaders in this sector.