Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted on Monday that the many sanctions packages levied against his country by the United States and NATO do, in fact, pose a “major challenge” to his country. Specifically, the Russian president told his Council for Strategic Development that Russia faces a particular problem with access to foreign technology.
According to the Russian state-run news agency Tass, Putin insisted that he would not allow Russia to become isolated from the rest of the world.
“Obviously, we cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world,” Putin said during Monday’s remarks. “And we won’t.”
Among the many sanctions implemented by the United States and NATO are blocks on the export of technology and parts manufactured and designed in the United States and allied countries. It means that Russia’s technological and airline industries are left without access to key components. The sanctions also forced Vladimir Putin to sign a law in March that allowed the seizure of foreign planes for domestic use.
Without access to plane components and parts, for instance, the Russian airline industry finds itself on borrowed time. Sooner or later, Russia will need to find new suppliers of airplane parts or risk using parts from older planes to keep the industry moving.
Many of the sanctions hurting Russia’s technology sector also came from the European Union, which implemented sanctions as early as late February, targeting Russia’s military-industrial sector.
What’s more, some of the biggest technology companies in the world have announced their departure from the Russian market entirely, including Microsoft, Apple, and chip manufacturer Intel.
Russia Will “Overcome”
In his most painfully honest statement to date, Putin said that the Kremlin understands the sanctions are a “major challenge” to his country but that he will not “lose heart” or have “decades of progress” reversed as a result.
Putin said that he was aware of the “obstacles” sanctions cause and that it will be a “complicated task” to overcome – but that Russia will ultimately succeed.
Mid-June, Putin also insisted that the West’s “blitzkrieg” of sanctions had failed to undermine and cripple the Russian economy in the way that many NATO leaders admitted was the goal.
During remarks at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin said that the “stupid sanctions” were “doomed from the beginning” and that Russia’s economy remains open for business for countries that want it.
To date, however, the Russian leader has outlined zero details about how Russia intends to overcome the West’s technology sanctions – though, analysts predict that it will likely involve closer ties with China and other Russia-backing authoritarian states.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.