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Kremlin 'Regrets' GM Closures Amid Declining Car Sales

The Kremlin says it regrets the General Motors car company's closure of a factory in Russia amid a long decline in sales.

Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, said on March 19 that the government is "concerned" by GM's decision to end the production of cars at a St. Petersburg factory later this year.

The closure -- which will result in the loss of some 1,000 jobs -- comes amid a second consecutive year of declining car sales in Russia.

GM will also stop making Chevrolets at Russia's GAZ factory.

Peskov downplayed GM's retrenchment, saying that "if one company leaves, its place is immediately filled by other companies."

He said the Russian car market is "picking up."

Burt GM President Dan Ammann said in a statement on March 18 that the Russian market has "very challenging long-term prospects."

Both Ford and Nissan have also announced cutbacks in car production in Russia this year.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and BBC