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Russia says Sistema issue political not judicial; India looking to Court

Posted on Dec 22, 01:04PM | UNI

Russia today expressed its displeasure over the way the issue of its telecom company Sistema was handled by the Government, with its Ambassador M Kadakin saying that matter was not 'judicial' but 'political'.

Reacting to Mr Kadakin's view, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid again sought to remind Mr Kadakin's country that the Indian Government was bound by the ruling of the court.

He, however, hoped that that by the time, President Vladimir Putin meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next week, India would have an 'adequate answer' to bring some comfort.

The Russian Ambassador at a press conference held here in the run up to President Putin's coming visit had said that the cancellation of the company's 2G licence was unfair.

He resented that a "bonafide company should be grouped with all others." Sistema had not violated any rules and regulations of India, Mr Kadakin added.

The Russian Ambassador said the issue was political for Russia because both the countries had an agreement that safeguarded each others' investments.

When asked about it, Mr Khurshid said the Government had asked for an opinion from the Supreme Court but the apex court had not advised on the fifth question in relation to the matter which deals with the relief in case of international obligations.

The External Affairs Minister said when the apex court reopens this would be put up to it again.

While stating that India was sensitive to Russia's concern over the Sistema case, he sought to underline that unless the Supreme Court gave a very clear guidance on this, no executive decision could be taken.

The Russian government has 17 per cent share in Sistema's India.

According to the company, it has invested 3.2 billion dollars before the Supreme Court in February has ordered the government to cancel the 2G licenses following charges of a massive scam.

The company has challenged the court order and wants the government to find an alternative solution.