SSTL has been made responsible for variance Indian authorities had with their country's legislation: Russia

The Russian government has stepped in on behalf of its telecom giant, whose Indian division was affected by the cancellation of 2G licences.

Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd. (SSTL), controlled by AFK Sistema, one of Russia's largest private conglomerates, was stripped of 21 of its 22 licences.

The Russian Foreign Ministry made it clear that it considered the Supreme Court ruling to be unfair and warned that it could turn away Russian investors from the Indian market.

“SSTL has been made responsible for the fact that the licence-issuing procedures established by the Indian telecom authorities were at variance with the country's legislation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

“AFK Sistema and SSTL intend to challenge the Court's decision through legal means,” the statement said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasised that SSTL was the first large Russian-Indian project in the consumer sector and had the reputation of a “reliable cellular operator.” The Russian government last year invested $600 in SSTL, buying 20 per cent of its shares.

“We expect the SSTL situation to be resolved in a way that would positively impact on the overall attractiveness of the Indian market for Russian investors,” the Ministry said.

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