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    Altimo sues Norway's Telenor for $1bln over Ukraine market delay

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    MOSCOW, March 25 (RIA Novosti) - Altimo, the telecoms arm of Russia's Alfa Group, said on Tuesday it had filed a $1bln lawsuit against Norway's Telenor for delaying mobile operator VimpelCom's entry into the Ukrainian market.

    Telenor and Altimo are the main shareholders in VimpelCom, which operates under the Beeline brand.

    The lawsuit, submitted to the Geneva international commercial arbitration court by Altimo's subsidiary Eco Telecom, is the latest step in a long-running dispute between Telenor and Altimo over VimpelCom's move into the Ukrainian market

    In 2004-2005, Telenor resisted VimpelCom's efforts to enter the Ukrainian market and buy into cell phone operator Ukrainian Radio Systems, as it put VimpelCom in direct competition with the Norwegian company's other interests in Ukraine.

    "As a result of Telenor's actions, VimpelCom's strategic purchase was put off for more than twelve months, after which the company's shares plunged and VimpelCom lost profit on the rapidly developing market," Altimo said, adding that losses sustained as a result of these actions were being claimed by Eco Telecom.

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