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Renault suspends Russia operations after backlash

March 24, 2022

The French automaker said it was suspending its industrial activities in Moscow because of the war in Ukraine. The move came after criticism from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

An assembly line at the Renault Russia plant that has launched production of Renault Arkana mid-size crossover. Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
Zelenskyy called out Renault during his 20-minute speech to the French parliamentImage: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS/dpa/picture alliance

French carmaker Renault has announced it will suspend operations at its Moscow factory over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The company was one of the few international businesses to have restarted operations at its Russia factory this week.

That drew the ire of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who called on Renault and other French companies operating in the country to "stop being sponsors of Russia's war machine" during his address to French lawmakers on Wednesday.

Zelenskyy speaks to French Parliament

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also called for a global boycott of the company.

After Renault's decision to halt production, Kuleba said that Renault had made the "responsible" decision.

What did Renault say?

The company released a statement to say it was halting "activities in its manufacturing plant in Moscow" on Wednesday.

It added it was looking at "available options" when it came to its partnership with Russia's largest car company, AvtoVAZ.

Renault has a 69% stake in the company, which leaves it more vulnerable to the Russian market than other competitors. Russia accounts for 8% of its core earnings, according to Citibank.

More than 400 international businesses have either withdrawn from Russia or reduced their operations over opposition to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Renault said "taking into account the current environment," it was looking to act responsibly towards its 45,000 employees in Russia.

The company also downgraded its financial outlook, saying it was looking at a "group operating margin of around 3% versus at least 4% previously."

rm/nm (AP, dpa)