Volkswagen CEO concerned Russia-U.S. sanctions row could hit partner GAZ

Herbert Diess, Volkswagen's new CEO addresses the media during a news conference at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE is concerned that a row between the United States and Russia over new sanctions imposed by the United States could hit business with its Russian partner GAZ Group GAZA.MM, Chief Executive Herbert Diess said on Friday.

“Possible sanctions are naturally a concern,” Diess said on Friday. “We are watching the matter very closely. If it really comes to sanctions against GAZ Group, we will have to review our business relationships, but we would not call into question our commitment to the Russian market,” he added.

GAZ Group is a manufacturer of light commercial vehicles and part-owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, one of a number of businessmen who have been targeted by sanctions imposed by the United States last week to punish Moscow for alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Russia’s lower house of parliament is to consider draft legislation that would give the Kremlin powers to ban or restrict a list of U.S. imports, reacting to new U.S. sanctions on a group of Russian tycoons and officials.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Writing by Edward Taylor. Editing by Jane Merriman