Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, has called on Russian technology companies to begin using home-grown software or risk losing out on state orders. The call has been made in an attempt to bolster the country’s cyber security as tensions build between it and the US. The use of foreign software will no longer be permissible in some sectors due to security risks.
Putin is quoted as saying:
“In terms of security, there are things that are critically important for the state, for sustaining life in certain sectors and regions. And if you are going to bring in hardware and software in such quantities, then in certain areas the state will inevitably say to you: ‘You, know, we cannot buy that, because somewhere a button will be pressed and here everything will go down’. So bear that in mind.”
Putin has been calling for such moves over the last few years as relations with the West have deteriorated; state institutions have already been switching to domestic technology in order to curb imports but private firms in the country still use imported technology. Aside from switching to Russian software, Putin is also eager for children to develop their knowledge and skills in upcoming technology such as AI where he told students that those who lead the AI race “will become ruler of the world.”
If Russia actually succeeds with its plans it could lead to Russia being in a similar situation to China where it's industry builds certain innovations which haven't taken off in the West, for example, WeChat's mini-apps.