Both parties stated on Monday that Renault has ceded its Russian assets to the Russian government, as international corporations flee the country amid Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.
Renault had 68 percent of AvtoVAZ, Russia’s largest carmaker with the country’s most popular brand, Lada, but was under pressure to leave the country following Russia’s military incursion in Ukraine.
Last year, Russia was Renault Group’s second-largest market behind Europe, with nearly half a million automobiles sold, thanks to AvtoVAZ.
“Agreements were signed on the transfer of Russian assets of the Renault Group to the Russian Federation and the government of Moscow,” the ministry said in a statement.
Under the agreement, Renault will retain a six-year option to buy back the stake in AvtoVAZ.
The deal also included Renault’s Moscow plant.
No financial details were provided but Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said in April that Renault planned to sell its Russian assets for “one symbolic ruble”.
“Today, we have taken a difficult but necessary decision; and we are making a responsible choice towards our 45,000 employees in Russia, while preserving the Group’s performance and our ability to return to the country in the future, in a different context,” Renault chief executive Luca de Meo said in a statement.
Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin for his part said that Renault decided to close its plant in the capital.
“This is its right, but we cannot allow thousands of workers to be left without work,” Sobyanin said in a statement, adding he decided to resume production of passenger cars under the Soviet-era Moskvich brand.
“In 2022, we will open a new page in the history of Moskvich,” he added.
“We will try to keep most of the team directly working at the plant and with its subcontractors.”
Renault has struggled to keep its operations running since President Vladimir Putin launched soldiers into Ukraine on February 24, owing to a scarcity of components as a result of Western sanctions.
The Ukrainian government has also put pressure on Renault, calling for a boycott of the company’s automobiles until it leaves Russia.
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