Russian president Vladimir Putin (pictured) reportedly cleared a subsidiary of operator Rostelecom to buy out Nokia’s stake in a software joint venture (JV), progressing the Finnish vendor’s exit from the country.

The Moscow Times reported Putin has signed a decree for the subsidiary, controlled by the government through various state development corporations and a state-owned bank, to acquire Nokia’s 49 per cent stake in the venture, dubbed RTC – Network Technologies. Financial details of the deal were not revealed.

Under laws imposed by the Russian government in response to sanctions implemented following its war with Ukraine, Putin must approve any deals involving the exit of a Western company in areas considered of strategic importance.

The joint venture was created in 2018, with Nokia and Rostelecom pledging to jointly invest in advanced technologies, including 5G and IoT.

However, in the wake of Nokia’s decision to exit Russia, which was announced in April 2022, the writing has been on the wall for its interests in the JV.

When announcing its exit from Russia, the company said it had been clear since the early days of the invasion of Ukraine that continuing its presence in Russia would not be possible.

Rostelecom has previously stated its business model has been severely impacted by Nokia’s exit from the market.

The West has targeted Russia’s telecoms networks through sanctions on technology and hardware exports since war with Ukraine began two years ago.