Putin: Russia Must Respond to Sanctions by Improving its Economy

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MOSCOW, Russia – Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the best way to respond to sanctions imposed by the West on his country is by increasing the competitiveness of the Russian economy.

The Russian leader said on Wednesday that this improvement comes through the scientific development and localization of production.

“It is necessary to significantly accelerate the pace of industrial development, strengthen our own scientific and technological base and promote the localization of production, the development of new markets by Russian companies within of the country and beyond our borders,” Putin said during a meeting with representatives of Russian companies.

Relations between Moscow and the West deteriorated in 2014 after the reunification of the Crimea with Russia and amidst the crisis in eastern Ukraine. The European Union and the US have imposed restrictions on Russian citizens, companies and sectors of the economy. Moscow has responded to these measures by imposing restrictions on food imports from countries that support sanctions.

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Meanwhile, Russia is working to hold a meeting in Moscow with the Turkish delegation to discuss the situation in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Omer Celik, a spokesman for Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), said a Turkish delegation would visit Moscow on December 29 to discuss the Ankara operation in eastern Euphrates and the withdrawal of troops from Syria.

The AKP spokesman added that the delegation would include Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and national intelligence chief Hakan Fidan.

“The meeting with the Turkish representative delegation is being drawn up. High-level contacts on the situation in Syria are expected to be held in Moscow in the near future,” the ministry’s Information and Press Department said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday announced his intention to visit Moscow in the coming days and meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. According to the Turkish president, an Ankara delegation will hold talks in Moscow before his visit.

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