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Putin Says Russia Can Replace Ukraine Military Imports

Russian President Vladimir Putin and the lawmakers are scheduled to discuss the integration of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into the Russian Federation.

President Vladimir Putin says Russia can replace any defense imports lost due to the Ukraine crisis with its own products, despite close ties between Russian and Ukrainian arms producers.

Putin said he believes any Western sanctions targeting Russia's defense sector would also be aimed at preventing Russia from replacing Ukrainian military imports with its own products.

Putin was speaking on April 28 at a meeting with members of the Russian parliament's upper house, the Federation Council, in the capital of Russia's northwestern Republic of Karelia, Petrozavodsk.

He said it would take Russia up to 2 1/2 years to replace Ukrainian military imports with its own products.

He said cutting off ties with Russia would be "devastating" for Ukraine's defense sector.

Based on reporting by Reuters, ITAR-TASS, and Interfax