The Russian assets of the Renault Group have been transferred to Russian ownership. It suspended its activities in Russia due to the sanctions and decided to transfer its share to Russian state ownership.
At the end of April this was first announced by the Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov who also clarified that the agreements already signed provide for the transfer of Renault Russia shares to the city of Moscow and AvtoVAZ shares to the state represented by the NAMI Federal State Unitary Enterprise subordinate to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.
It is the Moscow government that will own 100% of Renault Russia's shares, the Russian Federation, represented by NAMI, owns 67.69% of Avto VAZ, and Rostec State Corporation will retain the remaining shares. Renault Russia will have an option to buy back its stake within six years.
This deal will allow the state to continue the operation of the company in conditions of sanctions restrictions, in connection with which Manturov said that in this way “we will preserve” the key competencies, the production cycle and jobs.
In addition, the Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade noted the great experience of NAMI in the automotive industry, its modern experimental-production and research facilities, allowing “to solve problems” in research, development, testing and production of automotive products.
The expert community knows firsthand that the NAMI team is quite competitive. Its competence is first of all confirmed by the creation of vehicles under the Aurus brand on a single modular platform. As for the Avto VAZ enterprises, they will continue to produce Lada vehicles, and in addition the company will be in charge of the service of Renault vehicles in Russia.
The Moscow plant of Renault will now produce Moskvich cars, and the technological partner of this enterprise will be the legendary KAMAZ. Both companies will first set up production of cars with internal combustion engines, and after that of electric cars. At the same time, it is possible to localize the production of automotive components.
“We are making a responsible choice for our 45,000 employees in Russia, while maintaining the performance of the group and our ability to return to the country in the future in a different context,” said Luca de Meo, CEO of the Renault Group, announcing the “difficult but necessary” decision.
As a reminder, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said earlier that the so-called unfriendly countries “have come up with nothing better” than to return to the typical “pirate” practice: by freezing assets, they have actually robbed our country. The Russian Prime Minister stressed that the number of restrictions “exceeds the number ever imposed” on any other country. There are already more than 6,000 of them.
“These are individual, sectoral sanctions and sanctions against the country. However, the main thing is that they are directed against all of our citizens. Our former partners were directly competing to see who could take restrictive measures faster. They issued them almost daily. The goal was to create panic and hit everyone,” said Mishustin.
As of February 18 of this year, the volume of international (foreign exchange) reserves of the Central Bank of Russia reached $643.2 billion, which was a historical maximum. However, as part of the anti-Russian sanctions due to Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, the West blocked part of the reserves amounting to $300 billion. Therefore, already by March 25, the international reserves of Russia were $304.4 billion. In this connection, the Central Bank reminded that “the main factors of the reduction of reserves” were currency interventions, currency refinancing, as well as the currency revaluation of assets.