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The Russia Studies Program
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The Artificial Intelligence in Russia newsletter features a summary of recent Russian-language reports on the Russian AI and autonomy ecosystem, divided into the following sections:

  • Governance and Legal Developments
  • Military and Security Developments
  • Corporate and Market Developments
  • Education and Training Developments
  • International Collaboration
  • Spotlight: Russian Military Establishment Discusses AI

The following preview shows the first item in this issue:

1. Putin orders new mechanisms to develop science and technology in Russia

At a meeting of the Council on Science and Education on February 8, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin called technological sovereignty and science key factors in national security, and ordered the development of a new state program on science and technology. He instructed the government to prepare and adopt this new state program. At the same time, he called for a radical change in the approach to financing science from the state budget, though specifics were not available.

Putin also highlighted the need to ensure the planning and implementation of research and development work and establish uniform principles for assessing effectiveness in this sphere. He ordered the government to prepare and submit a decree for his signature that would change “the mechanisms for managing state scientific and technical policy.” He said this would entail “substantially changing the format of work and principles of formation” of the Council on Science and Education, and would include members of the government and the Russian Security Council. Putin noted that some work in this area is classified “Secret,” “Top Secret,” or “Of Special Importance,” so the team that works on these issues must be cleared to access any of this work, which would strengthen the mechanisms for decision-making in the field of science and technology.

In addition, Putin noted the necessity of creating a “special commission for scientific and technological development under the Russian government.” The structure would include ministry representatives at the level of deputy minister or higher, as well as representatives from the Security Council. Putin expressed his hope that, through this effort, “the efficiency of operational management and interdepartmental coordination in making and implementing decisions in the field of scientific and technical policy will be increased.” Putin also called for the creation of more efficient incentives for private companies “to participate in applied research together with scientific institutions, universities, and design bureaus to use domestic solutions to renovate production facilities and release high-tech products.”

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DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release: distribution unlimited. Cleared for public release


  • Pages: 30
  • Document Number: DOP-2021-U-029296-Final
  • Publication Date: 2/26/2021