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With Russia battling sanctions, Putin bats for development of domestic innovative companies

Russian President Vladimir Putin lists further development of end-to-end technologies as the top priority (File image courtesy: Kremlin.ru)

Accusing the West of putting up obstacles to restrain the development of the country through economic sanctions and denial of access to foreign high-tech products, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow is not giving up and is instead  "intensively and competently" looking for new solutions.

Addressing a meeting of the Presidential Council for Strategic Development and National Projects on Monday, Putin said that realizing the enormous amount of difficulties that it faces, Russia will effectively use the existing sovereign technological reserves and focus on the development of domestic innovative companies.

"I understand that this is a difficult task, and we are all well aware of this. It is clear that we cannot develop in isolation from the whole world, but this will not be the case: in the modern world, everything is impossible, you know, to draw a compass and put up a huge fence – this is simply impossible," Putin said in his address during the virtual meeting.

The Russian President outlined key areas which should be given special attention, listing the further development of end-to-end technologies as the top priority. "I would especially like to note the progress made by Sberbank in the field of artificial intelligence, Russian Railways in the field of quantum communications, Rosatom in the field of composite materials," he said.

Broad digital transformation was the second task listed by Putin who emphasised that it must permeate every industry, enterprise, social sphere, system of state and municipal government, enter the life of every person and every family. Thirdly, Putin advocated the creation of mechanisms in the Russian financial system so that fast-growing companies can attract domestic private capital for their development.

Higlighting the success of Russian fast-growing technology companies such as Ozon and Yandex, which attracted resources from Western financial markets, Putin said that the Russian financial system was not ready to provide resources to those companies that do not have assets or large profits, but at the same time have a great development prospect.

The fourth direction, Putin said, is to improve the quality of training of engineering and IT specialists.  According to the estimates of the Ministry of Digital Development of Russia, by 2024 the shortage of qualified personnel in the IT sector may reach one million people. "Achieving a new quality of personnel training is a top priority, because without it we will not have a technological future," said the Russian President.

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