Russia's "Import Substitution" Will Include Cooperation with BRICS Partner, China
August 7, 2014 • 9:47AM

Russian aerospace and military industrial enterprises will be purchasing electronic components worth several billion dollars from China, in response to sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe, according to a source close to Roscosmos, Russia's Federal Space Agency,

"We do work with the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) ... Its institutions have already offered us a few dozen items, representing a direct alternative to, or slight modifications of, the elements we will no longer be able to acquire because of the sanctions introduced by the United States," Izvestia reported. The newspaper also noted that the Russian aerospace and military industries do not use components produced in China at the moment. Russia has been dependent upon western electronics technology and components, which has been a weakness in its own aerospace industry. It is reported that Russian companies have purchased about $2 billion worth of electronic components from the U.S. annually. While there was cooperation between Russia and China in space technology early on, most of this stopped, following the Sino-Soviet split in 1959, and resumed with at least non-military sharing of space technology in the past 20 years.

"Over the next two, two-and-a-half years, until Russian manufacturers put the necessary space and military electronic components into production, plans call for the purchase of such items from China." Russian enterprises plan to buy up to $1 billion in the next calendar year, says the article.

Citing the source, the newspaper added that 18 representatives from 12 CASIC institutions engaged in the development and production of electronic components, will visit Moscow to take part in a special workshop for Russian manufacturers in August. A parallel workshop will be held in St. Petersburg. The newly-created, consolidated United Rocket and Space Corporation has expressed interest in cooperation with China, it is reported. Technical specifications and documentation for the products under discussion are now being translated, and the products are being tested, to evaluate their ability to meet the criteria for use in Russian space and military programs.

"Establishing large-scale cooperation with Chinese manufacturers could become the first step toward forming a technology alliance involving BRICS member states," Izvestia reported, quoting Andrei Ionin, chief analyst at GLONASS Union, a partnership of Russian companies involved in Russia's GLONASS world navigation system, which rivals the U.S. GPS system.