Serbia’s telecoms minister has sought to assuage concerns over the proposed acquisition of Telekom Albania by Telekom Srbija, stating in an interview with Albania’s TV Klan that the takeover would not pose a threat or be a cause for anyone to worry about their security. Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Lajic explained that there has not yet been an official response to Telekom Srbija’s offer, adding that he hoped the final decision would be ‘economic, not political’. The state-owned telco had reportedly submitted the highest bid for the Albanian cellco, but its offer sparked concerns from Tirana, and a warning that Serbian involvement in such a strategic sector was not welcome. Comments from the Albanian government came with the caveat that there was little that the government could do directly to stop the deal, however, as the state has no stake in Telekom Albania and the institutions empowered to intervene are independent regulators. Telekom Srbija’s bid for the operator is part of the firm’s bid to strengthen its position as a ‘regional leader in telecommunications’.
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