West cannot isolate Russia and send it back in time: Putin

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday (Jul 18) that it was impossible to cut Russia off from the rest of the world, and that sanctions imposed by Western countries would not turn the clock back on Russia’s development.

Since sending troops into Ukraine on Feb 24, Russia has been hit with a barrage of Western sanctions, designed to isolate it from the global economy, that have deprived it of access to goods including commercial electronics, semiconductors and aircraft parts.

“Not just restrictions but the almost-complete closure of access to foreign hi-tech products is being deliberately, intentionally used against our country,” Putin said, speaking to a video conference with government figures.

“It is clear that this is a huge challenge for our country, but … we are not going to give up and stay in a state of disarray or, as some of our ‘well-wishers’ predict, go back decades. Of course not,” he said.

Putin said Russia would have to develop its own domestic technology and technology firms.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said support for the Russian technology sector was a priority, but that every rouble of state support should be accompanied by at least three roubles of private investment.