TeliaSonera and the Republic of Latvia have today agreed to withdraw their respective claims and thereby settle the dispute between them around Lattelekom. The dispute has been the subject of ICC arbitration proceedings since 2000.
Following the settlement, TeliaSonera and the Latvian government have agreed to jointly form a working group to explore various long-term ownership options for the future of the two Latvian telecommunications companies Lattelekom and Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT).
TeliaSonera will, according to the settlement, pay the Republic of Latvia LVL 1 million (SEK 14 million) in recognition of the Republic of Latvia's costs associated with the arbitration dispute. The parties will also examine the means by which an additional contribution will be made to the Republic of Latvia upon the successful conclusion of discussions with TeliaSonera regarding a transaction involving either or both of the companies Lattelekom and LMT.
"I am very pleased that we have now ended the dispute, which has been damaging not only for the operations of Lattelekom but also for LMT," says Kenneth Karlberg, President of TeliaSonera Norway, Denmark and the Baltic countries. "The agreement sets the stage for a new spirit of cooperation between TeliaSonera and Latvia, and it is our ambition to resolve ownership issues in the working group that is established."
The arbitration dispute arose following the Republic of Latvia's decision to terminate Lattelekom's exclusive rights to fixed line telecommunications 10 years earlier than agreed in the original privatisation agreement. Latvia, in turn, claimed among other things that Lattelekom's network had not been digitalized as promised.