MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia’s import substitution effort has produced "serious" result, although he had "certain concerns" when it began.
"They [Western sanctions] forced us to engage in import substitution in areas that we see as our national interest, that are related to the country’s security. This includes a wide range of sectors: agriculture, healthcare, the pharmaceutical industry, the defense industry. In general, we had achieved very serious and positive results," Putin told the VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling!"
"I’ll tell you frankly - I can already speak about it frankly and publicly - I had certain concerns after first steps regarding this list of sanctions had been made. I would like to thank all my colleagues, the people whose names are not known and who are working every day at their workplaces - in industry, production, construction bureaus and research facilities. A very serious and a very big step in increasing our economic and technological sovereignty had been made."
In this sense, Russia’s economy benefitted from trade restrictions imposed by the West, Putin said. However, both sides suffered negative consequences for bilateral trade that can be counted in billions of dollars, he added.
The president went on to say that all questions about the removal of sanctions should be referred to the US leadership.