US Has Failed To Counter Russia's Import Substitution Strategy

(MENAFN- Asia Times) On February 8, drowned out by the flood of commentary that followed his interview with Tucker Carlson, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the Kremlin one week to prepare a draft decree on the Strategy for Technological Development of the Russian Federation and update its list of Russia's most important science-intensive technologies.

For the past two years, Putin has emphasized the urgency of developing this equipment through domestic, independent production processes, and Washington has failed to take notice of this discrete economic transition.

When the West responded to Russia's invasion of Ukraine with an exhaustive sanctions program and bans on specialized exports, Moscow was suddenly required to restructure its economy.

At first, this meant selling enormous quantities of its energy commodities to China to achieve the same level of economic growth. It quickly became obvious to Russian policymakers that this was not a sustainable long-term plan. Thus Russia turned to import substitutions, including in its nascent high-tech sector.

Russia has traditionally been a resource-based economy that exchanges its unfinished products such as oil, gas and coal for manufactured goods produced abroad. Now, in order to reduce its reliance on other countries, the Kremlin is pressuring factories and companies to furnish finished products that act as alternatives to those that were once principally imported from the West. To do so, Russia will need a robust indigenous high-tech sector.

National platform

Since the start of the year, Russia has made several noteworthy steps to reach this goal. It launched a national platform aimed at developing and implementing artificial intelligence (AI) – from cloud computing to neural-network models – in fields such as education, agriculture, and health care.


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