VLADIVOSTOK, May 23. /TASS/. Russia will not lift the ban for import from certain countries, but is ready to organise joint processing companies in its territory, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Vesti v Subboty programme host Sergei Brilev on Saturday.
"Sure, this depends on our relations with this or that country," he said. "But this does not mean we shall decide now to allow import from one country and to ban import from another."
"I believe, it would be much easier and more useful if we together with our counterparts, the countries, with which we really have now more close contacts, better relations, could think about organising joint companies in Russia, to where our counterparts could supply products to be processed in the Russian territory," the prime minister said. "This could be quite correct."
"We are experiencing not the best relations now with the countries of the European Union, with the European Commission," he said. "But at the same time, our trade turnover is practically $400 billion; this means trade partner number one, even under the conditions of the current sanctions."
The Russian government will decide in August whether to extend restrictions on imports of agricultural products to the Russian Federation or to partially or completely lift them, Medvedev said.
"We will make these decisions… proceeding from our national interests," Medvedev said. "We were forced to adopt these response restrictive measures by our neighbors’ and trade partners’ actions… so we need to see what decisions they will make."
"And then in August, because these response restrictive measures were imposed for a year, we will make decisions whether to retain them or partially change or give them up completely," he said.
Medvedev said Western sanctions and Moscow’s countermeasures helped Russia to "significantly boost our domestic potential."
"And that import substitution they like to discuss now really took place," he said. "In this regard, I think, even if the restrictive measures are lifted, and this will surely take place sooner or later, we will not be able to and must not return to what was before they were imposed."
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.
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.