MTS Uzbekistan (Uzdunrobita), a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), has filed for bankruptcy. The move follows the suspension of its operating licences six months ago. MTS said in a statement that the company is unable to pay its liabilities, and that the decision was connected to the November 2012 ruling from the Appeals Court of the Tashkent City Criminal Court that Uzdunrobita pay fines and penalties totalling around USD600 million. In July 2012 Uzbekistan’s State Inspectorate for Communications (SIC) accused Uzdunrobita of ‘numerous and systematic violations’. Shortly after the company’s licences were suspended, MTS vice-president for stategy Michael Hecker told Reuters that the suspension was a ‘classic shakedown’.
However, MTS has not yet given up the ghost. In an ad hoc notice on its website, the Russian firm asserted: ‘Uzdunrobita continues to defend its rights in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan. MTS also reserves the right to use all legal options in the international arena in order to claim damages incurred as a result of an unwarranted attack on its subsidiary in Uzbekistan’.