No economic sense limiting automobile imports at today's rate - Putin

It makes no economic sense to limit automobile imports at today's exchange rate, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his annual press conference.

It makes no economic sense to limit automobile imports at today's exchange rate, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his annual press conference.

"At today's rate, [a ban on automobile imports to Russia] would simply make no economic sense because the rate has put everything in place by itself," he said.

 "When we were hit with unlawful sanctions, of course the government began to think about how to respond. And one option was to ban the import of new and second hand cars to the Russian market - why? Because all the international brands already operate in Russia," Putin said. A ban on the import of vehicles "will undoubtedly support their production" and will also be "rather tough for the economies for those countries involved with the sanctions."

The president added that the government will support producers "including foreign producers, who come to Russia and agree to terms of deep localization of 50 or more percent."

Presidential aide, Andrei Belousov, spoke about the possibility of banning vehicle imports in response to sanctions, but later the idea was rejected.

Read more: Spiraling ruble sees worst 2 days in its history as oil price tumbles


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