Putin: West cannot isolate Russia, hinder its progress by sanctions over Ukraine
President Vladimir Putin says Russia cannot be isolated in the international community and anti-Moscow sanctions imposed by the West over the conflict in Ukraine will not hinder the country’s progress and development.
Putin made the remarks in a video conference with the Russian government figures on Monday, during which he said Russia had completely been denied access to foreign hi-tech products in the wake of the sanctions.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine on February 24, Russia has been targeted by a barrage of sanctions aimed at isolating it from global economy, and denying it access to goods, including commercial electronics, semiconductors and aircraft parts.
"I understand that this is a complicated task. All of us are perfectly aware of that. And it’s also clear that we cannot and will not live in isolation from the rest of the world," Putin was quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency as saying.
The Russian head of state underlined that it was impossible to cut Russia off from the rest of the world.
"Obviously, we cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world. And we won’t. It is impossible in the present-day world to merely issue a decree and erect a huge fence. It is simply impossible."
"It is clear that this is a huge challenge for our country, but ... we are not going to give up and stay in a state of disarray or, as some of our 'well-wishers' predict, go back decades. Of course not."
Putin vows to overcome 'colossal' high-tech problems
During the video conference on Monday, the Russian president vowed to overcome the "colossal" high-tech problems the country is facing due to the unprecedented Western sanctions over Ukraine.
Putin said the West had levied sanctions to cut off Russia from high-tech products and to contain the country's development. "This is a huge challenge for our country," he told the meeting.
"Realizing the colossal amount of difficulties we are facing, we will look for new solutions in an energetic and competent manner."
The Russian president went on to say that Moscow would be “looking for new solutions while making effective use of its own technological capacities available in the country and research by innovative Russian companies.”
According to the Russian leader, one of such tasks is to develop end-to-end technologies, which have major influence on structural changes in the economy. He said Russia would also use "sovereign" technology and products of domestic innovative companies.
Putin said many fast-growing Russian companies such as online retailer Ozon or technology company Yandex have been cut off from Western financing because of the sanctions.
He said Russia must quickly create alternatives so that such companies can attract the necessary financing at home and continue their development. "I very much look forward to detailed proposals from both the finance ministry and the Bank of Russia."
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 without any domestic alternatives.