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2G case: Sistema threatens arbitration

It said that the company reserves the right to begin proceedings against India in an international tribunal if the dispute is not settled "in an amicable way" by August 28.

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: February 28, 2012  | 20:10 IST

Russian conglomerate Sistema on Tuesday said it has asked the government to resolve within six months the dispute related to the cancellation of 21 telecom licenses of its Indian joint venture.

Sistema, Russian billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov's holding firm, sought resolution of Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) losing licenses, under an intergovernmental treaty.

It added that the company reserves the right to begin proceedings against India in an international tribunal if the dispute is not settled "in an amicable way" by August 28.

SSTL President and CEO Vsevolod Rozanov said Sistema JSFC, which is the majority shareholder in SSTL, "has invoked its right under Article 9.1 of the BIT signed between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of India for the promotion of mutual protection of investment...which came into force on August 5, 1996."

Seeking protection of its $3.1 billion investment in India, the company said it also plans to file a petition this week for review of the Supreme Court order cancelling 21 of SSTL licences in the country.

Sistema has a joint venture with India's Shyam Group - Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) - in which the Russian government also has a stake of 17.14 per cent.

"...cancellation of SSTL's licenses following Sistema's investment of billions of dollars into the Indian cellular sector is contrary to India's obligation under the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) including obligations to provide investments with full protection and security and obligations not to expropriate investments," Sistema said in a statement.

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