Russia to take over Renault’s Moscow factory to revive Soviet-era car

French carmaker joins other western firms leaving Russian market, with option to return within six years

The Moscow city government is to take over a factory belonging to the French carmaker Renault and use it to revive the Soviet-era Moskvitch in Russia’s first major nationalisation of a foreign company during its war in Ukraine. 

The development, which was met with ridicule by Russians with long memories, 

follows Renault’s decision to join the wave of western companies such as McDonald’s and Siemens leaving the Russian market as the war in Ukraine nears its fourth month. 

Renault has ceded its 68% stake in Russia’s biggest carmaker, AvtoVAZ, with an option to buy it back within six years. 

According to media reports, the company’s Russian assets were sold for one rouble, 

meaning the city of Moscow has effectively taken control of the factory free. 

Renault’s CEO, Luca de Meo, said in statement that the company was protecting its future business in Russia