Renault suspends work at Moscow factory following Kiev request
Following calls from Ukraine for boycotting the French automaker, Renault suspends its operations in Russia over its special military operation.
French car manufacturer Renault said Wednesday it was going to suspend its operations at its factory after Ukraine called for a boycott of the company for keeping its doors open in Russia.
Renault also said in a statement it was also considering "the possible options" for its Russian affiliate AvtoVAZ, which it controls 69% of, adding that it had downgraded its 2022 financial outlook.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had called for a global boycott of Renault after it refused to leave the Russian market in light of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.
"Renault refuses to pull out of Russia," he said on Twitter ahead of Renault's announcement. "I call on customers and businesses around the globe to boycott Group Renault."
Renault, in its statement issued later today, said the group's "activities in its manufacturing plant in Moscow are suspended as of today."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky used an address to France's parliament on Wednesday to call on French companies still working in Russia to "stop sponsoring" the Kremlin's actions in his country.
During a 15-minute video address, Zelensky took aim at "people who bury their heads in the sand and try to find money in Russia."
"French companies must quit the Russian market," he said. "Renault, Auchan, Leroy Merlin, and others must stop sponsoring the Russian war machine."
Russia had launched a special military operation for several reasons, including NATO's eastward expansion. Other reasons were the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass and the killing of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, in addition to Moscow wanting to "denazify" and demilitarize Ukraine.
In response, the US and its allies have rolled out comprehensive sanctions, including restrictions on the Russian central bank, export control measures, SWIFT cutoff for select banks, and closure of airspace to all Russian flights. Many of their companies have suspended their Russian operations.