Apex court order may set off diplomatic storm | india | Hindustan Times
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Apex court order may set off diplomatic storm

Russian, Norwegian govts have stakes in MTS, Uninor. Manoj Gairola reports.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2012 01:16 IST
Manoj Gairola

Of the eight telecom companies that have been hit by the Supreme Court's decision on Thursday to cancel 122 licences for 2G spectrum, two — with foreign government stakes — have come out with strong reactions.



The Russian and Norwegian governments are set to take up the issue, as they have considerable interests in Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL), which operates the MTS brand name, and Uninor, respectively.



In SSTL, the Russian government has a 17% stake, while Russia-based Sistema JSFC owns 54% and Shyam group controls 26%. The balance 3% stake is with individuals.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/04_02_12_pg1c.jpg

“Our minister of communications will definitely speak to your communications minister (Kapil Sibal) to secure the future of SSTL,” said Sergey Karmalito, senior counsellor at the Russian embassy. “Later, it will be taken to a higher level.”

A Russian embassy official said even Russian President Vladimir Putin might choose to speak to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.

Norway-based Telenor Group has a 67.25% stake in Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd —the company that operates the Uninor brand. The rest is owned by real estate group Unitech.

Sources said the Norwegian government, which owns 55% in Telenor and has a stake in the Indian entity through its sovereign wealth fund, will lobby with India.