Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Leica pulls out of Russia, closes Moscow store

Leica pulls out of Russia, closes Moscow store

James Bond edition! A snip at $6,300 at 20.00 hours Moscow time on March 3

In a brief announcement from Wetzlar this afternoon, Leica Camera AG has stated that the company is closing its Russian operations with immediate effect. This comes after much speculation among the Leica community in the past two weeks.

Here is the full press statement:

Leica has suspended all business in Russia until further notice and closed the Leica Store in Moscow.

Die Leica Camera AG hat alle Russlandgeschäfte bis auf Weiteres eingestellt und den Leica Store in Moskau geschlossen.

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  1. Hi there, we were trying to find the original source for the Leica statement you have quoted, and we could not find it. There are multiple hits from various forums, but no direct link.

    We are documenting reactions of companies to the Russian invasion at

    At the same time, this link you provided in one of your earlier posts, incredibly, appears to be still operating as of April 22, 2022: https://store.leica-camera.com/ru/ru/
    Also, would be great to know whether all Leica products fall under the luxury products sanctioned by EU on March 15.

    Thank you!

    • It came as an email from Leica and I don’t think anything appeared on the website. I’m afraid I can’t help you with details, especially on what constitutes luxury or essential. I think you will need to speak to the Leica press office in Wetzlar.

    • There are two CL silver cameras there, as dealer locator says. But, sorry you can’t buy one there now:
      The Store is closed due to technical reasons until further notice.

  2. As far as I can tell, the Moscow store closed already early February and put on an automatic email response (before the actual invasion on February 24).

    “This too shall pass” was Lincoln’s favorite saying. I think they closed the store, as in “we’re not open currently”, as other companies did (which was a drastic enough response so that for example the ambassador in Denmark threatened that Russia would take over the Carlsberg beer factory in Russia and nationalize it).

    • Hi Thorsten,
      I hope you are correct. I love my M cameras. I own all of your training and your instruction on focusing an M camera was, may I say, brilliant. Your online video was useful yesterday. You are an inspiration on M cameras and especially black and white because it is under appreciated.

      The biggest issue with Leica M cameras are people are incompetent with using them as well as not being competent on exposure skills, depth of field skills, story telling skills, evocative skills…😀. Need I say more. I have always felt people should invest in education rather than the next camera to improve their photography. However, most people want to sit on the couch and then wander out with an AI camera looking to capture a compelling image-good luck with that crap shoot. I hope to take one of your workshops in Canada someday when our paths may be able to cross – I must get out now and do some maintenance on my igloo and get the dog sled out and buzz over to the store for milk 😅.


    • I wonder what happened to that Russian-made M240? It flowered briefly then disappeared. They may need to resurrect it.

    • There is a Zenit M (Silver) for sale on eBay for $9K. It comes with the Zenitar MF 35mm f1 lens. No shipping to the US and most other countries in the world… The price at launch was $7K and only 500 were made (450 Silver, 50 Black). A collector’s item?

      • I was thinking more of the Zenith E like I started my photography with. Maybe Russia will have to restart production of those …..

  3. They probably waited to sell all stock at the good price (With fall in Russian currency) to those who can pay before shutting it.

  4. Better late than never, I suppose, but the EU sanctions, which were signalled about a week ago, seem to have over-ruled any reluctance to do the right thing. An even more significant issue for Leica may be the increase in energy prices. Germany is hugely dependent on Russia for oil and gas supplies and Leica is already up against sustainable pricing levels. Where I live, we have been told that the natural gas, which many of us use to heat our homes, will go up in price by 39% next month. This type of energy price increase will affect a lot more than discretionary luxury goods purchases, of course.

    Watch this space. We seem to have gone back to much earlier times on multiple fronts.


    • I agree with you, William. This is just one more example of the moral ambiguities of navigating in waters stirred up by one megalomaniac despot. Lots of the decisions won’t be perfect, but they’ll be better than no decisions at all. And I have NOT bought my last Leica!

    • It is certainly disappointing that the announcement was delayed until the day on which the EU and UK banned the export of luxury goods to Russia. As you say, a few days earlier (I have been pressing for an answer for two weeks) would have been good window dressing for Leica.

    • Disappointing if you read how other camera companies have reacted to the crisis… A bit a tale of too little and too late IMHO…

  5. It’s the new EU rules, beginning today. No EU-made (or labelled) ‘luxury’ products to be exported to, or sold in, Russia. So maybe not Leica’s own decision at all.

    • Interesting, David. I knew the UK had imposed that ban but didn’t know about the wider EU ban. I liked to think that Leica had made the decision out of conscience and principle, not because of a legal ban.

      • The agreed measures are the following:

        A full prohibition of any transactions with certain Russian State-owned enterprises across different sectors – the Kremlin’s military-industrial complex.
        An EU import ban on those steel products currently under EU safeguard measures, amounting to approximately € 3.3 billion in lost export revenue for Russia. Increased import quotas will be distributed to other third countries to compensate.
        A far-reaching ban on new investment across the Russian energy sector, with limited exceptions for civil nuclear energy and the transport of certain energy products back to the EU.
        An EU export ban on luxury goods (e.g. luxury cars, jewellery, etc.) to directly hit Russian elites.
        Moreover, the list of sanctioned persons and entities has been further extended to include more oligarchs and business elites linked to the Kremlin, as well as companies active in military and defence areas, which are logistically and materially supporting the invasion. There are also new listings of actors active in disinformation.
        A ban on the rating of Russia and Russian companies by EU credit rating agencies and the provision of rating services to Russian clients, which would result in them losing even further access to the EU’s financial markets.


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