India may discuss Sistema with Putin

With Russian telecom major Sistema voicing its concern over the cancellation of its telecom licences in India not being resolved, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said that issues of concern between the two countries "will be addresed" when Russian President Vladimir Putin visits India next week for the annual bilateral summit.

Responding to a question, the minister said, "Issues of concern will be taken up and addressed... There are no insurmountable issues."

"We have good relations with Russia and we want to strengthen and enhance them," he added.

Earlier this month, Sistema said it will seek "billions of dollars" in damages from India if the licence cancellation issue of its Indian telecom venture Sistema Shyam is not resolved in time.

The issue has been hanging fire ever since the Supreme Court passed an order in February cancelling all 122 telecom licences, including that of Sistema Shyam Teleservices, following allegations of bribery and corruption in the allocation of 2G spectrum.

Khurshid also said the apex court "may take a fresh look" at the issue.

"When the PM meets President Putin, we will have some adequate answers ready that will bring comfort to both sides," he added.

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