Veon filed a pair of legal motions at a court in Ukraine challenging the freezing of corporate rights in operator Kyivstar, seeking to reverse a move announced by the country’s security services earlier this month.
In a statement, the operator group emphasised the corporate rights in the mobile operator belong exclusively to it, with a full or partial seizure deemed to be directly violating the rights of the company and its investors.
The move follows action by the Security Services of Ukraine (SSU) to freeze corporate rights in the operator as part of measures designed to crack down on the interests of sanctioned individuals.
Veon argued the step by authorities prevents changes in ownership and was “introduced to protect material evidence while criminal proceedings, unrelated to Kyivstar or Veon, are in progress”, and did not amount to “asset seizure”.
Although the SSU made a public statement on its action, Veon noted it was yet to be officially served the initial court order, or a revised one said to have been issued on 13 October reducing the level of frozen rights to below 48 per cent.
“Any action aimed at the rights, benefits or funds of sanctioned individuals, the alleged reason for seizure of corporate rights as per the SSU statement, cannot legitimately be directed toward Kyivstar or Veon,” the group added.
The operator asserted sanctioned individuals did not own any shares in the company, had no ability to control or influence decisions made by it and did not derive any economic benefit from Veon or its companies.
Veon CEO Kaan Terzioglu said: “The impeccable track record of Veon and Kyivstar in serving Ukraine, the dialogue we established last week in Ukraine during our board delegation’s visit and the continued availability of appeal mechanisms and procedures give me confidence that we will achieve our dual goal of addressing the concerns of Ukrainian authorities while protecting our rights”.