Russian President Vladimir Putin has been putting a brave face on the international response to his invasion of Ukraine. Now he’s finally admitted that sanctions are having an impact. The question is, will it make him back down?
According to TASS, Russia’s state news agency, on July 18, Putin told his country’s Council for Strategic Development that US and NATO sanctions are a “major challenge” for Russia. The biggest issue, according to the Russian president, is the lack of access to foreign technology. The US has imposed a ban on exporting technology and many parts, and the UK, EU and other allied countries have similar restrictions. Major tech companies, including Microsoft, Apple, and Intel, have completely pulled out of the Russian market.
The aim of the tech sanctions was to prevent the country from building advanced weapons, but they’re having a wider impact. For example, Russian airlines are struggling to get spare parts. In March, Putin signed a law allowing planes leased from foreign companies to be seized for Russian use.
Putin is still in defiance mode. He told the Council he won’t lose heart, and that Russia will overcome the sanctions by finding new solutions. He said in the modern world, “it’s impossible to put up huge fences. What he hasn’t done is actually suggest any solutions.