On the days of holding of the “INNOPROM. Kazakhstan” International Industrial Exhibition, Alexei Vedev, Doctor of Economic Sciences, Head of the Financial Studies Department of the Gaidar Institute gave an interview to the PublicO expert portal. Alexei Vedev described new economic realities which Russia was living in and touched upon technological sovereignty Russia was going to attain:

- Over the past 30 years, Russia was building an open economy in which the term “efficiency” used to prevail. In other words, the competition between the domestic and external markets was partly unfair in regard to domestic goods and technologies. If imported ones happened to be more effective and low-priced, they were given preference. In terms of ensuring a technological sovereignty there was a trade-off between efficiency and reliability. Unfortunately, Russia faced this trade-off after sanctions were introduced and is going to face it in the next 5-10 years, as well. For Russia it is a strategic choice. For example, Russia had the experience of industrialization of the 1930s. But at that time the industrialization was caried out on the basis of foreign technologies with complete industrial plants bought fr om abroad and built in Russia. So, I believe in the present-day environment import substitution can be only partial. A complex technological import substitution cannot be achieved overnight, if feasible at all, because historically many countries specialize only in specific areas.

- The problem is that Russia has been excluded fr om some technological production chains. Wh ere can it integrate into in the present environment?

- Russia has been excluded notionally. Over the past year and a half, both sanctions and restrictions on cooperation between foreign and Russian businesses were imposed with diseased morals taken into account. It means that they exist formally, but are not necessarily observed. Russia was quite successful in integrating in such chains over the past 15 years, finding a niche of its own in computer technologies, mathematics, biotechnologies and other. Suffice it to recall the Boing Russia with a staff of over 4000 engineers. There are lots of such examples. It means that the Russian economy is not limited only to oil and gas alone. But as regards comprehensive national technological sovereignty, I believe that this objective is infeasible.

- Interestingly, it is infeasible not only for Russia…

- Certainly. A good example is the USA which stopped manufacturing TV-sets half a century ago. If sanctions are imposed right now against the USA, it will experience a shock in the short-term.

- So, what should Russia concentrate on? What can it do better than others?

- I would pay attention to those sectors where breakthroughs have already been made and make additional investments in them. In principle, the government grants privileges to IT and other sectors with high added value. However, troubled sectors exist as well. Take, for instance, civil aviation. Judging by reports on delayed flights due to breakdowns of planes, it may come to a halt soon. Russia is most likely to manufacture planes in cooperation with others. As seen from the SuperJet moderate success, cooperation with the Italians and the French happens to be insufficient enough for full success.

- How many years will it take Russia to adapt completely to the new environment and who will be Russia’s main technological partner?

- It will take some time to build new logistics chains. As regards partners, there will be plenty of them. For sure, it will not be China alone because China carries out a multi-vector policy and does not lim it itself to friendship with only one neighbor. China has got a huge trade turnover with the US, the EU and other countries. In fact, the word ‘diversification’ will be the key one in the long run both for Russia and other countries.