Russia must work to overcome “colossal” high-tech problems caused by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said Monday.
"This is a huge challenge for our country," Putin said, accusing Western countries of deliberately blocking access to high-tech products for Russia.
“Realizing the colossal amount of difficulties we are facing, we will look for new solutions in an energetic and efficient manner," he said at a meeting of the Presidential Council for Strategic Development and National Projects.
"It's clear that we can't develop in isolation from the whole world, but this will not be the case — it's impossible to put up huge fences in the modern world," Putin added.
The European Union and the U.S. imposed severe economic and diplomatic sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine in late February — including targeting Russia’s military-industrial sector and limiting Russia’s access to advanced technologies.
Many top tech companies including Apple, Microsoft and Intel suspended their operations in Russia, or left the country altogether, leaving Russia without any domestic alternatives.
Russia's economy will shrink 15% this year as the hit from Western sanctions, wiping out 15 years of economic gains, the Institute of International Finance said last month.
AFP contributed reporting.