A long-awaited draft presidential decree outlining the privatisation of one of Russia’s largest telecoms groups, Svyazinvest, is making its way towards the Russian cabinet, according to a senior government official. Deputy Economic Minister Andrei Sharanov told local news that the draft, which calls for the sale of the state’s entire stake of 75%-minus one share, is currently awaiting the approval of the Justice Ministry before being submitted to the government. It the state approves the decree a sale is expected to take place sometime next year. Svyazinvest holds controlling stakes in all seven ‘mega-regional’ operators: Center Telecom, North-West Telecom, Volga Telecom, South Telecom, Uralsvyazinform, Siberia Telecom (Sibirtelecom) and Far East Telecom (Dalnevostochnaya). It also has minority stakes in Moscow Local Telephone Network (MGTS), Svyaz Komi Republic, Ruslizinsvyaz and Kostroma GTS, as well as interest in the country’s national long-distance and international monopoly operator Rostelecom.