Renault suspends activities in Russia

After the board meeting, the Renault group stated it was suspending production at its Moscow plant, where some of the company’s SUVs are made, in a press release issued on Wednesday night. [Shutterstock/Sergio Photone]

French carmaker Renault has announced the suspension of its manufacturing operations in Russia after growing public pressure and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to the French parliament.

Renault’s board of directors met on Wednesday (23 March) after the Ukrainian president accused Renault and other French companies of being “sponsors of the war” in Ukraine during his speech to the French parliament. “Values are better than profits”, he also said.

After the board meeting, the Renault group stated it was suspending production at its Moscow plant, where some of the company’s SUVs are made, in a press release issued on Wednesday night.

It is also stated that the group is “assessing the available options” for the future of its stake in AvtoVAZ, a Russian car manufacturer in which Renault is a majority shareholder, and recalled its aim to “[act] responsibly towards its 45,000 employees in Russia”.

Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who earlier in the day had called for a boycott of the company, welcomed the French group’s “responsible move”.

The French state holds 15% of Renault’s shares. Following Thursday’s (24 March) NATO summit, President Emmanuel Macron said that “France leaves [French] companies free to decide for themselves” about their activity on Russian soil.

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