The Kremlin chief said the West’s sanctions had cut Russia off from major technology products and conceded the nation could not develop in complete isolation, but added it would be impossible to fully sever Moscow’s connection to the rest of the world.
‘This is a huge challenge for our country,’ the president said today during a video conference with other Russian officials.
‘Realising the colossal amount of difficulties we are facing, we will look for new solutions in an energetic and competent manner.
‘Clearly, we cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world, but we won’t. In today’s world, you can’t just, you know, circle everything with a compass and put up a huge fence, it’s just not possible.’
Many top tech companies including Apple, Microsoft and Intel suspended their operations in Russia or left the country altogether after Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, leaving Russia with few domestic alternatives.
Putin also said that many fast-growing Russian firms in the sector, such as online retailer Ozon or internet company Yandex, had their growth stunted as their access to Western financing had been severed.
But the warmongering Russian leader said the nation would focus on developing ‘sovereign ‘technology and innovation from domestic companies, calling on the nation’s finance ministry and banks to make plans for major cash injections.
‘I very much look forward to detailed proposals from both the finance ministry and the Bank of Russia,’ Putin declared.
His admission that Western sanctions are crippling Russia’s tech industry came as EU foreign ministers met in Brussels to discuss fresh proposals of yet more sanctions.
Ministers from EU nations are reviewing a potential ban on gold exports, among other things, to further cripple the Russian economy.
The European bloc’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said that at the moment ‘the most important thing is a ban on Russian gold’, which is Moscow’s second-largest export industry after energy.