The Russian government is mulling over measures aimed at limiting footwear imports, according to the Russian press.

The local authorities plan to take advantage of the situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic, including a slump in the import of fashion goods and restrictions on international travel, to expand the domestic production of clothes and footwear, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported.

The replacement of fashion imports by local production is one of the pillars of the economic recovery program approved by the Russian government on Sept. 23, the newspaper added.

Russia can no longer afford large-scale imports of shoes and clothes, the Russian news outlet Finanz explained. In 2019, footwear and clothing  imports totaled $11 billion. Finanz highlighted that to finance such imports, Russia has to rely on the cash generated by hydrocarbon exports. But, since the beginning of the pandemic, Russian exports of oil and gas have dropped by nearly a third, dragging down tax revenues and the ruble.

The Russian government has yet to outline its measures to replace imports with local goods.