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Arrival, the British electric vehicle maker founded by a former Russian government minister, is closing operations in Russia and has no plans to operate there in the future, one of its top executives has said.
Tom Elvidge, executive vice president of vehicle programs, revealed the decision to the Financial Times on Wednesday. The future of the car conference in London.
The company was founded by Denis Sverdlov, a businessman who served as Russian Deputy Minister of Communications and Media under President Vladimir Putin for 15 months until his resignation in 2013. Although he spent most part of his adult life in Russia, Sverdlov, who remains chief executive, was born in Georgia.
Arrival was valued at $13.6 billion when it listed on the US Nasdaq stock exchange in March last year. The company is developing “micro-factories” in the UK and US and focusing on building delivery vans, buses and electric cars.
Asked if the company could face sanctions because of Sverdlov’s ties to Putin, Elvidge pointed out that Sverdlov opposes the war and that the company is moving its Russian operations to Georgia.
Elvidge said Arrival had “a team” in Russia but did not elaborate on the nature of operations there.
“Denis has spoken publicly and made his statements very clear that he is against [the war]“, said Elvidge.
Arrival had moved its personnel from Russia to Georgia since Russia attacked Ukraine on Feb. 24, Elvidge said.
“We have now moved the majority of our team to Georgia,” Elvidge added. “We have set up offices in Tbilisi.
It would take “a few more months” to complete the transfer, Elvidge said.
“We are not planning any operations in Russia in the future,” he added.
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