MTS in talks to relaunch in Uzbekistan

2 Jan 2013

Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) expects to resolve its dispute with Uzbek authorities over the closure of its MTS Uzbekistan unit early this year, Dow Jones Newswires reports. MTS Uzbekistan had its licence revoked by Tashkent courts in July this year after the company was accused of a raft of violations, including regulatory infractions, tax evasion and money laundering. In September, the courts ordered the seizure of MTS Uzbekistan’s assets, apparently confirming suspicions that the affair was an orchestrated effort to take control of the cellco. In November, however, the order to confiscate the assets was rescinded, and a fine of USD600 million issued instead.

The chairman of parent company AFK Sistema, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, said on the recent talks regarding relaunching services in Uzbekistan: ‘A regular negotiations process is going on which, it looks like, may spread into the beginning of 2013. You cannot enter the same river twice. Most likely the conditions will not be the same, but how it will be in reality it is hard to say.’

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