MOSCOW, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday urged the defense industry to expedite its efforts to reduce the dependence on foreign suppliers, as the country is faced with impending EU sanctions on its arms sectors, local media reported.
Among the 206 types of defense products that the country imports, Russian firms can make just 58, the Moscow Times quoted deputy head of the Federal Space Agency Alexander Shilov as saying.
To close the gap, the president called for speeding up the replacement of imported products in the national defense industry, as well as the translation of domestic product into material and items for special hardware and weapons, in order to ensure quality and steady supplies, according to the Interfax news agency.
"These issues are certainly key to Russia's military and economic security, to our technological and production independence, as well as our technological sovereignty," Putin said at a meeting held Monday, adding that the task is to protect Russia industry against the risks of foreign partners reneging contracts.
The European Union is mulling tough economic sanctions on Russia this week over the latter's alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis, with one of the key measures targeting arms sale to Moscow.
The Russian industry is "definitely" capable of making all the necessary hardware and equipment on its own, while there is still challenge to guarantee the quality with limiting factors like price and production time, Putin said, voicing confidence that the difficulties would be translated into "benefits".
Putin said in April that Russia is capable of replacing defense- related imports from Ukraine within two years and a half.