Renault bows to pressure to halt Russia output

STORY: Ukraine’s president accused French firms of financing Russia’s war machine.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy said French companies had to leave the Russian market.

That was in an address to lawmakers in Paris on Wednesday (March 23).

Late the same day came one response.

Renault said it would suspend operations at its plant in Moscow.

The French automaker had been under mounting pressure over its continued presence there.

It had been reluctant to shut down in a country where it gets about 8% of its core earnings.

That’s mainly through its stake in Russian firm Avtovaz, owner of the Lada car brand.

In a statement, Renault said it would now assess its options for the stake.

It said it already observed all sanctions related to Ukraine, but made no other mention of the crisis there.

Renault shares dipped 1.5% in early trade Thursday (March 24).

After Zelenskiy’s speech, the focus will turn to other big French firms with Russian operations.

He also called on retailer Auchan to leave the country.

Food giant Danone and oil major TotalEnergies have both come under criticism for maintaining some operations in Russia.