The Government to assist Telenor in Russian dispute

A Russian court has arrested all of Telenor’s shares in the Russian mobile operator VimpelCom, following a dispute between the Norwegian telecom provider and a shareholder in Russian mobile operator VimpelCom.

“This is a yet another escalation of the attempts to steal our VimpelCom shares with the aid of Russian courts,” said Jan Edvard Thygesen, Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor’s Central and East European operations.

Minister of Trade and Industry Sylvia Brustad. Photo: Regjeringen

Minister of Trade and Industry Sylvia Brustad. Photo: Regjeringen.

“I am very disappointed to receive the news that an arrest has been made in Telenor’s shares in VimpelCom. This is a demanding situation. This is in our view currently the most pressing issue in Norway’s bilateral relationship with Russia,” Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry Sylvia Brustad said during a press briefing on March 13.

She underlined that her main concern now is to help safeguard Telenor’s investments in Russia while the legal process has still not been fully concluded: “I have already requested a telephone conversation with my Russian counterpart, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov.

Brustad added that a forced sale of Telenor’s shares would send very negative signals regarding the level of legal protection for foreign investors in Russia: “We will use all available channels in order to assist Telenor. We are currently in a critical phase, and I stay in close contact with the Prime minister Stoltenberg and Foreign Minister Støre,” stated Brustad.



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