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Russia’s Luxury Car Imports Surge During Ukraine War 

The number of luxury cars in Russia surged last year despite Western sanctions in retaliation to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the RBC news website reported Monday, citing an analysis of federal tax audit data.

The number of cars with a sticker price of 10 million rubles ($98,500) or more increased by 22% from 2021-2022, reaching an overall total of 19,800. The number also marks a 250% increase from the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

“The upward trend could be reversed neither by the coronavirus crisis that broke out in 2020 nor by Western sanctions that restricted Russians’ access to the luxury segment in 2022 and led to a sharp price hike,” RBC cited the FinExpertiza consultancy as saying.

The United States, European Union, and Japan banned the export of luxury cars and other goods to Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s neighbors GeorgiaArmenia, and Finland have since been accused of enabling the re-export of luxury cars into the country in violation of the sanctions.NEWSRussian Lawmakers to Trade Foreign Cars for Domestic Brands, State Duma Speaker SaysREAD MORE

Demand for luxury cars remains stable in Russia because it is less price-dependent than the mass market, FinExpertiza President Yelena Trubnikova told RBC.

Moscow and its surrounding region accounted for around half (9,800) of Russia’s luxury vehicles, followed by St. Petersburg with 2,000, according to the analysis based on Federal Tax Service data.

At least 76 Russian regions registered increases in the number of luxury vehicles last year, with the biggest percentage increases recorded in the republics of Kalmykia, Buryatia and Dagestan as well as the Amur region.

Individual owners were listed behind 12,800 luxury cars, while organizations accounted for the other 7,000.

Earlier this year, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament claimed that officials agreed to abandon their foreign cars in favor of domestic-made vehicles.

Source : The Moscow Times