Telenor hit with $1.7bn bill over Ukrainian quarrel

The confusing spat involving Norwegian carrier Telenor, Russian operator VimpelCom and Ukrainian Radio Systems (URS) continues to rumble on, with Telenor this week served with a claim to pay $1.7bn to Farimex Products.

Farimex is a minority VimpelCom shareholder, which last year managed to have the Siberian appeals court in Omsk issue an arrest order for Telenor and Altimo’s (Alfa) shares in VimpelCom, amounting to almost 63 per cent of the company.

In the wake of the shares arrest, Telenor is being held liable for approximately $1.7bn in damages for allegedly delaying VimpelCom’s entry into the Ukrainian market via the acquisition of URS.

Telenor has been given five days to pay the sum voluntarily.

“We have no intention of honouring such a horrendous claim, which is based on an illegal Russian court ruling, still under appeal by us,” said Jan Edvard Thygesen, executive VP and head of Telenor’s Central and East Europan operations.

Telenor has appealed to the appeals court in Tyumen in West Siberia, and the date for the hearing is scheduled for May 26.

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