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Russian MPs to ditch foreign cars

The State Duma will completely replace its fleet of vehicles starting next year

An Aurus Komendant vehicle at a car show in Yekaterinburg, Russia. ©  Pavel Lisitsyn / Sputnik

Members of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, will completely switch to using domestically produced cars at work. The change has been described as a way to boost the country’s automotive companies. 

“It was decided that, starting next year, the legislators in their constituencies will be equipped only with vehicles manufactured in Russia,” the 450-seat chamber said Monday in a statement on its website. It added that Duma’s Council had adopted the decision “unanimously.”

Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin was quoted as saying the move would “help the development of the Russian automotive industry, while state funds will remain in the country.” 

In August, President Vladimir Putin argued it would be right for “all officials to use domestically made cars,” adding that officials should promote “national brands,” including vehicles.

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Volodin backed the idea, saying that the time that MPs would switch to the domestic car brands, such as Moskvich, Lada, and Aurus. While the first two have been household names since the Soviet times, Aurus was launched in 2018, specializing in bulletproof limousines and other luxury cars. Putin has shown Aurus models to several heads of state, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Emirati President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Moscow has sought to reduce dependence on imports after NATO countries, as well as Japan and South Korea, imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia over its conflict with Ukraine.

Moscow has sought to reduce dependence on imports after NATO countries, as well as Japan and South Korea, imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia over its conflict with Ukraine.

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