This study analyzes the discussion of import substitution in the Russian press from August 2014 to December 2016. By drawing on 269 press media items (obtained from the “Integrum” database and featuring Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Novaya Gazeta, Komsomolskaya Pravda, and Kommersant) the authors show that the discussion is being constructed within the following eight frames – anti-Western, patriotic, nostalgic, sentimental, interest-centered, consequence-centered, selfish and demonstrative. The most popular frames are the patriotic and the consequence-centered ones. However, the spectrum of frames most frequently engaged differs across periodicals. For instance, while the pro-state and pro-government Rossiyskaya Gazeta constructs a predominantly positive image of import substitution through the use of anti-Western and patriotic frames, the more liberal and oppositional Novaya Gazeta often emphasizes the likely negative consequences of such protectionism using the sentimental and demonstrative frames. Komsomolskaya Pravda uses the widest range of frames, but presents the information in a more simplified form to make it clearer to its target audience. In contrast, Kommersant discusses import substitution at a more expert level and invokes the selfish and the consequence-centered frames. Through the qualitative content-analysis of the selected media the authors have produced a list of keywords that serve to determine the place of import substitution in network agenda-setting. Their joint reference analysis has revealed three large clusters in the public discussion: the economic-political, the selfishly patriotic and the protectionist cluster. The authors conclude that the debate on import substitution combines both economic and political arguments; and the media often resort to ideological constructs to justify their attitude towards import substitution.