Russian authorities and state-run media outlest talk about an import phase-out in the economy of Russia on a constant basis. While the evaluation of the whole image needs time, it’s pretty clear that some representatives of the Russian elite are not seeking to turn the public rhetorics into the reality.
In 2016, a Russian state-linked [the Central Bank of the Russian Federation ownes 50%+1 voting share of Sberbank’s voting shares] banking and financial services company, Sberbank, ordered 22,000 iPad tablet computers in order to improve the quality and ‘mobility’ of service. In 2017, Sberbank is going to order additional 15-20,000 iPads. The state-run corporation agrues that iPads allow to increase sales the banking products.
This “patriotic move” came amid the fact that Sberbank has not entered to the Russian region of Crimea and is not planning to work there, according to the bank’s cheif Herman Gref.
We remind in an interview with German radio station WDR 5, Gref said when he was asked why is not Sberbank in the Russian Crimea:
“Because there is no, that Crimea is the territory of Ukraine from the point of view of the international financial sector, and we adhere to this position. Speaking simply, Sberbank Russia Crimea is not.”
This is not the first time when the Russian state-linked corporations order massively Apple devices. In 2014, an integrated oil company majority owned by the Government of Russia, Rosneft spent about 2,000,000 Russian rubles on iPads, iPhones and accessories for them. The same year, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide a financial assistance to the company because of the sanctions lifted by the US and the EU.
In 2015, Rosneft continued practice of buying Apple devices, using the state money.
These cases clearly depict the real level of patriotism of some part of the Russian financial elites that pursue only own innterests even in the state-linked spheres. Many believes that the world banking cartel influences the Russian foreign and internal policy through them. This allows to explain some “questionable” steps of the Russian leadership.