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MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday vowed to overcome the “colossal” high-tech problems the country is facing due to the onset of unprecedented Western sanctions over Ukraine.

The Kremlin chief said the West had deployed sanctions to cut off Russia from high-tech products to contain the country’s development.

“This is a huge challenge for our country,” he told a meeting.

“Realising the colossal amount of difficulties we are facing, we will look for new solutions in an energetic and competent manner.”

He said Russia would also use “sovereign” technology and products of domestic innovative companies.

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Putin also said that many fast-growing Russian companies such as online retailer Ozon or technology company Yandex have been cut off from Western financing because of the sanctions.

He said Russia must quickly create alternatives so that such companies can attract the necessary financing at home and continue their development.

“I very much look forward to detailed proposals from both the finance ministry and the Bank of Russia,” Putin added.

Many top tech companies including Apple, Microsoft and Intel suspended their operations in Russia, or left the country altogether, after Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, leaving Russia without any domestic alternatives.

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