French carmaker Renault announced in a statement Wednesday that it has suspended all activities at its Moscow factory. The announcement comes as Ukrainian leaders have called for a boycott against the company, and accused Renault of “sponsoring Russia’s war machine.”
Just one day earlier, Renault had said it was resuming production for three days only.
Regarding its involvement in major Russian car manufacturer AvtoVAZ, owned by Renault, the French carmaker said that it’s “assessing the available options, taking into account the current environment, while acting responsibly towards its 45,000 employees in Russia.”
The company also said it is “already implementing the necessary measures to comply with international sanctions.”
AvtoVAZ’s brand Lada represented nearly 21% of the Russian market in 2021, according to Renault Group’s financial results.
Earlier on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called out major French companies, including Renault, by name for continuing their operations in Russia.
“Renault, Auchan, Leroy Merlin and others must stop being the sponsors of Russia’s war machine,” Zelensky said.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba went further, calling for a global boycott of the carmaker.
“Renault refuses to pull out of Russia. Not that it should surprise anyone when Renault supports a brutal war of aggression in Europe,” Kuleba said in a tweet. “But mistakes must come with a price, especially when repeated. I call on customers and businesses around the globe to boycott Group Renault.”
Renault declined to comment when asked by CNN if the decision to suspend its activities at the Moscow factory is connected to the strong words from Ukrainian leaders.
Renault said in the statement that the value of its consolidated intangible assets, property, plant, equipment, and goodwill in Russia amounted to more than $2.41 billion at the end of 2021.