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Import substitution in Russian defense industry to focus on electronics, tools — deputy PM

April 17, 2015, 21:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A system of import substitution had to be introduced in Russia in connection with imposition of Western sanctions on Russia for developments in Ukraine

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MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Import substitution in Russia's defense industry sector will focus on establishment of a national production of electronic components for the space and machine-tool industries, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Friday.

Rogozin said that during today’s meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission, Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed of schedules of import substitution at all leading enterprises.

"We emphasized the creation of a national production of electronic components, first of all for the space industry… the second thing is the machine-tool industry. In essence, we can only thank our Western foes for allowing us to finally revive the branches of our industry that were previously kept down," he said.

Import substitution

A system of import substitution had to be introduced in Russia in connection with imposition of Western sanctions on Russia for developments in Ukraine and Moscow’s countersanctions.

Russia has constantly dismissed accusations of "annexing" Crimea, because Crimea reunified with Russia voluntarily after a referendum, as well as allegations that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in the southeast of Ukraine.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in October 2014 that while pursuing a policy of import substitution, Russia should not confine itself to replacement of goods imports but should also focus on substitution of foreign developments.

Medvedev has been regularly discussing in different formats import substitution in various spheres. Over the past two months alone, his meetings dedicated to the issue have related to import substitution in the spheres of high-tech medical equipment, petrochemistry, the power industry and agriculture.

In his address to the Federal Assembly, Russia's parliament, on December 4, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the import substitution policy is among the country’s long-term priorities.

Sanctions against Russia

Russian officials and companies came under the first batch of Western sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March 2014 after the February 2014 coup in Ukraine.

Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

The West announced new, sectoral, restrictions against Russia in late July 2014, in particular, for what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in protests in Ukraine’s southeast.

In response, Russia imposed on August 6, 2014 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.

New large-scale punitive measures against Russia followed in September and December 2014.

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