In the current context, which is defined by most researchers, both Russian and foreign, as the “new normality”, new approaches emerge to ensure modernization-related growth of the national economy and to improve its competitive position in the world markets. Russia’s economic orientation for recent years made it dependent on oil and resulted in deindustrialization of the economy, degradation of high-tech industries and high dependence on foreign sources of modernization development. Today the issue of a new system of priorities related to transition to a model of non-oil development is of increasing importance for Russia. Russian policy of import substitution has shifted in its approach from protectionism to an offensive policy and expansion of domestic industrial products to world markets. Therefore, there is an urgent need not only for change in economic incentives, but for institutional transformation which can promote industrial modernization. The article examines the key elements for effective policy of import substitution in Russia entering «new normality». As the authors put it, heterogeneity of the institutional environment of Russian regions impedes implementation of industrial modernization reforms. As a result, a number of economic barriers accompanied with pseudo market institutions emerge. Coherence between political, ideological and economic institutions is identified as the precondition for effectiveness of the policy of competitive import substitution. The degree of state intervention in import substitution and competitiveness of a branch of industry are taken as the main factors which determine the type of a scenario for import substitution policy. The conclusion was drawn that it is reasonable to implement a competitive scenario of import substitution, to provide a maximum of multiplicative effects in the current context of the “new normality”.