ERR in Moscow: Russia Creating Import Substitute Program ({{commentsTotal}})

After sanctions by the EU, US, Australia, Japan and a few other nations, Russia has had to find new partners in trade, and besides closer ties with China, Russia will launch a program to substitute previously imported goods.

Neeme Raud, ERR's man in Moscow, said Russians are being bombarded with two messages. First one of resilience, with the government saying Russia has suffered before and survived, and a second message of opportunity – the need to reorganize the economy.

On ETV's "Välisilm," Raud parsed some recent comments on the issue.

Russian MP Oleg Smolin said economic and education experts have long said that if Russia wants to be one of the leaders of the world, it must have its own production capabilities, its own research and development, and education.

“Import substitution is a policy of rejecting a certain volume of import goods to help out local producers. The free market philosophy which the West preaches is stupidity. Trade without limits made our economy primitive. It is not good that 87 percent of our exports are oil and natural resources. That is why we are so dependent on the price of oil,” said Ruslan Grinberg, the head of the Institute for International Economic and Political Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Sergey Budrunov, the head of a new institution for industry development, said the program must be done pushed through smartly, and Russia can not step away from international cooperation, and the fields which propel the Russian economy must belong to the nation.

“I am very happy that China has taken one of the leading roles in investing capital into the Russian economy. China is at the forefront of foreign nations [investing in Russia] and investments increased 15 percent last year. It is a very good sign,” Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

Li Keqiang, the premier of China, has said as Russia is the largest nation in the world and the China the most populous, the two economies can work well together.

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