Putin’s rarely-seen second daughter addresses St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

Katerina Tikhonova’s speech. Photo: EPA-EFE/ANATOLY MALTSEV

Katerina Tikhonova’s speech. Photo: EPA-EFE/ANATOLY MALTSEV

In a rare public appearance, Vladimir Putin’s second daughter Katerina Tikhonova took part in a panel discussing “the role of defence industry organisations in ensuring technological sovereignty” at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday.

Tikhonova heads Moscow’s Innopraktika Foundation, the stated aim of which is to grow investment in Russian technologies and create a network of tech companies, modelled on Silicon Valley, centred on Russia’s leading technological universities.

Tikhonova’s contribution to the discussion, which was moderated by Russia’s premier state TV propagandist Vladimir Solovyov, concerned import substitution technologies in both the civilian and military-industrial spheres, and was one of the few speeches delivered at the forum to reference the war in Ukraine at all.

Tikhonova stressed the need for more Russian-made goods and commended ongoing initiatives to replace technologies previously supplied by foreign manufacturers with Russian-made substitutes.

Tikhonova spoke at length about a grant program that supports Russian manufacturers. Thirty-five of Russia’s largest companies, including Gazprom and Russian Railways, have joined the initiative, which is currently supporting 79 projects and has allocated a total of 354 billion rubles (€3.66 billion) to participating companies.

According to the forum’s schedule, Putin’s eldest daughter, Maria Vorontsova, is due to speak on Friday in her capacity as an executive officer for the Russian Association for the Promotion of Science.

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