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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov Attacks Efforts Of Electronics Sector

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov on Monday criticized the work of the domestic electronics industry, saying Russia is overly dependent on foreign technology for making computers and providing telecommunications services.

"The country's dependence on supplies of foreign information and communications technologies and their components has exceeded the critical point," Ivanov said at a meeting of IT and Communications Ministry officials, Interfax reported.

Stating that the number of subscribers to mobile phone services has reached 150 million, equivalent to more than the country's entire population, Ivanov said: "Hardly anyone who is sitting in this room has a domestically manufactured mobile phone."

Ivanov is one of the government ­officials seen as a possible successor to President Vladimir Putin. The president recently promoted him to first deputy prime minister in a move widely believed to be aimed at boosting Ivanov's profile.

In further critical comments, Ivanov said 10 percent of Russians surf the Internet, compared with the 50 percent of people who do so in the West. The government's program to make the Internet more readily available, e-Russia, has failed expectations, he said.

But Ivanov said some progress has been made in computer literacy and noted that computer use has risen by one-third since 2005, with 23 million computers in regular use. By 2010, around half of the people in the country will own computers, he said.

Ivanov said people in even the smallest towns and villages should be able to use land line and cellular telephone services and go online by 2015.