Friday, August 17, 2012 -
The acting director of the Uzbek subsidiary for Russian telecoms firm Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has been released from detention and is back in Russia, MTS said on Friday.
Radik Dautov, who headed the MTS subsidiary Uzdonrobita, was arrested in mid-July with four other executives as the Uzbek government clamped down on the firm. He was released from detention on August 1 but was instructed to remain in the country.
Uzbekistan also maintains that Uzdonrobita owes over $300 million to the government for failure to pay taxes.
Russia’s foreign ministry assisted Dautov in returning to Russia.
The return of Dautov to Russia comes one day after the U.S. presented a strongly-worded letter to Uzbek President Islam Karimov warning that the failure to resolve the issue with MTS would result in deteriorating bilateral relations. U.S. Under Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake is in the Uzbek capital Tashkent for annual bilateral discussions.
Some 9 million Uzbek subscribers to MTS mobile services have been left without cell service because of the dispute.