Russia has reacted to EU and North American sanctions by banning the export of numerous products—including motor vehicles such as the vans that Stellantis was gearing to export from a new joint-venture factory there.
The vans may still be exported to other countries which are not affected by Russia’s 48-nation ban.
Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, presented Stellantis, Renault, and others with assets within the country with a difficult choice. They can give up their billions of investment (in Renault’s case, including Lada and upgrades to Lada’s main factory), and have their assets seized and nationalized; or they can limit their exports to countries that are not part of the ban but are likely minor markets. The dramatic fall of the ruble adds an economic component; any profits paid in rubles are likely to be small at best, but on the other hand any costs paid in rubles will also be reduced.
Putin invaded Crimea in 2014 and has occupied it since; the invasion of Ukraine is more recent and brought a surprisingly strong set of economic sanctions which have crippled Russia’s economy. In response, Russia has made criticism of the war punishable by up to 15 years in prison, resulting in the closure of independent news broadcasters, and has changed the nature of its offensive, attacking hospitals and nuclear plants in what appears to be a bid to scare Ukrainian leaders into submission.
Stellantis has donated one million euros to an NGO for Ukraine refugees, but has also continued to sell cars in Russia and hoped to export vans on schedule. Export ban story via Bloomberg