Government and telecoms companies express mutual goodwill

A long-running controversy about the long-term future of two major Latvian telecoms companies appeared to be temporarily smoothed July 12 when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and Telia Company AB on the improvement of strategic coordination between SIA Lattelecom and SIA "Latvijas Mobilais Telefons" (LMT).

The MoU was signed by Prime Minister Maris Kučinskis and Telia Company AB president Johan Dennelind and approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

"Last November, the Cabinet of Ministers decided that Lattelecom and LMT would not be merged, and that both owners - the Latvian state and Telia Company AB - should work together to develop these companies. In developing and signing a Memorandum of Understanding, shareholders of Lattelecom and LMT will clearly demonstrate their willingness to work in Latvia, doing their utmost to develop these companies, to promote the development of information and communication technologies, giving even more support to the national economy as a whole," said Kučinskis.

However, a notable addendum to the news release giving an account of the document stressed that the MoU does not constitute any sort of binding commercial contract or international treaty, describing it instead as "a commitment by both sides to sit down at the negotiating table in order to develop mutually attractive future development strategies for Lattelecom and LMT."

The MoU includes no actual financial obligations, will will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

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