New sanctions and weak foreign exchange rates create a fertile ground for the Russian mining machinery suppliers to compete with the recognized world leaders

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

Facing the first international sanctions in 2014, Russian authorities declared a goal to cut import-dependence on mining equipment from the U.S. and other NATO countries. At that time, top government officials saw a threat that, following the annexation of Crimea, the country could be hit with the same cocktail of restrictive measures that Iran was subjected to over its nuclear weapons program. Particular concerns were voiced that the Russian banks possibly could have been cut off from the SWIFT network.

With this background, Russian government started work aimed to decrease the import-dependence of the domestic mining industry. In 2014, the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry designed and adopted a program titled, “Heavy Vehicle Construction” that became a part of a major federal project that targeted to improve the competitiveness of the national machine-building industry. Within that program, the ministry set the target to raise the share of the Russian mining equipment on the domestic market to 40% by 2020, as compared to 30% in 2014.

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