Ignoring for one second yesterday disastrous air crash in Ukraine, the 'boomerang' of sanctions continues to be thrown back and forth between the US and Russia. Having restricted Russian firm's access to USD funding, Putin has come out swinging. His first act was to demand that state departments and state-run companies will no longer purchase PCs built around Intel or AMD processors (which might explain AMD's slashing their outlook); but now he has hit out at the heart of what has made America great (in the eyes of some) - banning the use of foreign cars for officials in favour of home-produced cars.
Russia's policy on Western technology is clear: The country can live without it, especially if key issues like economic sanctions, NSA spying and GPS cooperation aren't resolved to its leader's satisfaction. It looks like this tough stance extends to US-designed computer chips too, as a Russian business newspaper is reporting that state departments and state-run companies will no longer purchase PCs built around Intel or AMD processors. Instead, starting in 2015, the government will order up to one million devices annually based on the "Baikal" processor, which is manufactured by a domestic company called T-Platforms. An interesting twist, however, is that the Baikal processor is actually based on an ARM (Cortex-A57) design, which means the East / West divorce isn't quite as complete as it might sound. It could also mean that many Russian bureaucrats won't get the chance to be a Mac or a PC: they'll have to use some sort of ARM-compatible, presumably Linux-based operating system instead.
And now Putin has gone after the auto sector... (via Reuters)
Top Russian officials may soon forfeit the sleek black Mercedes limousines that speed them through the Kremlin gates in favour of home-produced cars as part of a push to protect domestic industry threatened by Western sanctions over Ukraine.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he had signed an order limiting purchase of imported cars for state and municipal officials - a move in line with Vladimir Putin's bid to increase self-reliance from engineering to defence, but carrying more symbolic than commercial importance.
To address the concerns, domestic producers Sollers , Kamaz and GAZ have been asked to design a car for government officials by the end of the year under a project known as "Cortege".
"We have drafted a resolution that bans the state and municipal purchase of certain types of foreign-made equipment and vehicles, notably such conspicuous issues as the purchase of vehicles for officials," the government's website quoted Medvedev as telling deputy ministers at a meeting on Monday.
* * *
As Putin recently opined, the boomerangs are coming home...
“The US is certainly one of the world’s leaders. At some point it seemed that it was the only leader and a uni-polar system was in place. Today it appears that is not the case. Everything in the world is interdependent and once you try to punish someone, in the end you will cut off your nose to spite your face,” he said.