ANNOUNCEMENT 17 Jul 2012In July 2012, the government of Uzbekistan announced altered domestic business conditions for foreign investors.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
US SEC filing by MTS:
US State Department: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/ics/2013/204758.htm
On July 17, 2012, the mobile phone operator Uzdunrobita ceased offering its services in Uzbekistan after the Communications and Information Agency of Uzbekistan suspended its operating licence for 10 days. Uzdunrobita is wholly owned by the Russian mobile phone operator MTS.
On July 27, 2012, the Communications and Information Agency of Uzbekistan extended the suspension of Uzdunrobita's operating licence for a further period of 3 months. A court finally revoked the licence permanently on August 13, 2012.
According to press reports, the regulatory grounds used to justify the revocation of Uzdunrobita's operating licence are contested. Some allege intimidation through the arrest of four of the employees of the company without charges. Moreover, the Russian government intervened on behalf of MTS to try to solve the case when the Russian Foreign Minister intervened to secure the release of MTS's acting country manager. Representations by the US government have been made as well. Accusations of a "shake down" and expropriation have been levied.