Renault planning new push into Russia

PARIS, Sept 26 (Reuters) - French automaker Renault SA expects to decide this winter whether to return to the Russian car market, Executive Vice President Georges Douin told Reuters on Thursday.

Renault has been mulling building cars in significant numbers in Russia since the late 1990s but has yet to make a final decision.

An attempt by Renault's local joint venture Avtovramos to assemble the mid-sized Megane was abandoned after the 1998 Russian economic crisis after duties on the assembly kits imported by Renault soared.

Recently, though, Renault has been patching up its differences with the Moscow local government and has become more interested in the country now that its economy has settled down.

"If we have an assurance of a stable operating environment in which we can work, we will invest," Douin said in an interview at the Paris motor show.

"Our initial plan would be for a volume of 60,000 cars per year. The decision should be made this winter."