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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Report: Ministry to Jump on Boards of Svyaz Units

The IT and Communications Ministry will for the first time put its officials on the boards of all subsidiaries of national telecoms holding Svyazinvest, due to be privatized this year, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

The daily quoted a source close to Svyazinvest as saying the holding had proposed putting three ministry officials on the boards of Uralsvyazinform and Tsentralny Telegraf.

Uralsvyazinform is one of seven regional telecoms controlled by Svyazinvest. It services the Urals region. Tsentralny Telegraf is a fixed-line telecoms services and Internet provider for Moscow and the surrounding region.

The source said other Svyazinvest subsidiaries were to receive similar proposals, too.

Currently, the seven regional telecoms firms, long-distance monopoly Rostelekom, Moscow fixed-line incumbent MGTS and others only have top Svyazinvest managers and portfolio investors' representatives among their board members.

Vedomosti quoted Svyazinvest spokesman Oleg Mikhailov as saying the government should take care of its interests more carefully than before ahead of the privatization.

"The measure is aimed at strengthening the government's control," Mikhailov said.

The government plans to sell 75 percent, less one share, in Svyazinvest this year, although President Vladimir Putin is yet to sign a decree allowing its privatization.

The decree is needed because Rostelekom provides services to the military and is considered strategic.