The board of Rostelecom, a subsidiary of Russia’s state-run telecoms giant Svyazinvest, has agreed the outline of its development strategy for 2008-2012 in which it intends to enter foreign markets in two stages. During the first three years Rostelecom will focus on the CIS and the Asia-Pacific region. Then over the following three to five years the company will switch its focus to Middle Eastern and European countries. A Rostelekom source said that mergers, acquisitions, shareholding exchanges and partnership agreements are all possible means of achieving its aims.
Rostelcom is said to be considering purchases of stakes in Aztelekom in Azerbaijan, Beltelecom in Belarus, Uzbektelekom in Uzbekistan, Kazakhtelekom and Kaztranskom in Kazakhstan and Ukrtelekom and Farlep in the Ukraine. By 2010 the company is planning to construct trunk lines between Aktau-Baku and Baku-Turkmenbashi between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, as well as communication lines between Georgia and Turkey, and Georgia and Ukraine. The company is also considering the Two Valleys project in China.