Russia’s Tele2 files lawsuit against Ericsson over Russia withdrawal

(Reuters) -Russian telecoms firm Tele2 has started legal proceedings in Moscow against Ericsson over what it says is the Swedish firm’s refusal to honour agreements to supply equipment, Tele2 representatives told Reuters on Friday.

A spokesperson for Ericsson said: “We are aware of a lawsuit reported in Russian news media, but cannot comment further at this time.”

Ericsson said it was suspending its business in Russia in April and would fully exit the market in the coming months, recording a charge of 900 million Swedish crowns ($81 million) and making 400 local employees redundant.

In September following reports the company had continued exports to Russia, Ericsson said it was providing Russian clients with software and technical support, but had not sold any telecommunications equipment to Russian mobile operators since Feb. 24, when Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine.

In a statement to Reuters on Friday, Tele2 said: “We have initiated proceedings against Ericsson Corporation and Satel TVK due to the refusal of the companies to fulfil their obligations to provide equipment. Most of the undelivered equipment refers to orders made long before sanctions were imposed.”

Satel TVK is a Russian company that supplied Tele2 with Ericsson equipment.

The complaint was filed with the Moscow Arbitration Court.

Tele2 said it had engaged in eight months of negotiations with Ericsson to attempt to find a solution, but had not received “constructive proposals” from the company.

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; additional reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm; writing by Jake Cordell; editing by David Evans)