Will go for international arbitration if licence issue is not resolved

Stepping up pressure on India, Russia, on Monday, warned it would go for international arbitration if the issue of cancellation of 2G licence involving Russian telecom giant Sistema was not resolved in Indian courts.

“If the issue of cancellation of 2G licence to Sistema is not resolved in Indian courts, we will go for international arbitration,” Russian Ambassodor to India Alexander Kadakin said on the sidelines of a cultural event.

“We are upset about the decision,” Mr. Kadakin added.

Russia, which has been conveying its unhappiness over the issue time and again, had earlier said the row over Sistema would have “great repercussion” not only on Indo-Russian bilateral co-operation but also foreign investments in India.

Sistema holds 56.68 per cent stake in Sistema Shyam Teleservices, whose 21 out of 22 licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court in February on the grounds that the 122 permits issued by the then Telecom Minister, A. Raja, were “arbitrary and unconstitutional”. The Russian government holds 17.14 per cent stake in SSTL. — PTI

Russia had previously asserted it would not let Sistema’s $3.1 billion investment in its Indian telecom venture go waste due to “internal problems” here.