All parties to Sistema dispute free to take legal recourse: India

A day after Russia warned that it will go for international arbitration if the issue of cancellation of 2G licence to Sistema was not resolved in courts here, India today said all parties to the dispute were "free to take legal recourse".

"We hope that an amicable solution to this issue is found. However, it is a commercial matter and all parties to the dispute are free to take legal recourse that they deem appropriate to meet their commercial goal," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said.

He was asked about India's view on Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin's comment that "if the issue of cancellation of 2G licence to Sistema is not resolved in Indian courts, we will go for international arbitration."

Kadakin had also said, "We are upset about the decision." Russia, which has been conveying its unhappiness over the issue time and again, had earlier said the row over Sistema will have "great repercussion" not only on Indo-Russian bilateral cooperation but also for foreign investments in India.

Sistema holds 56.68 per cent stake in Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd 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". Russian government holds 17.14 per cent stake in SSTL.

Russia had previously asserted it will not let Sistema's USD 3.1 billion investment in its Indian telecom venture go waste due to "internal problems" here.

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