The head of Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, Igor Artemyev, has announced that a deal to merge Vimpelcom with Ukrainian operator Kyivstar has received approval from the Commission on Foreign Investments, Reuters reports. The deal will see Alfa Group and Norwegian group Telenor pool their holdings in the two firms to established a new US-listed, Netherlands-based operator, Vimpelcom Ltd. As reported by CommsUpdate on 5 October 2009, the two firms agreed to merge their holdings in the hope of concluding years of legal dispute. The united company will provide integrated mobile services to consumers in Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries, as well as Georgia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Once established, Vimpelcom Ltd will seek to expand its operations in other developing markets in Europe, Asia and Africa, aiming to become one of the leading players in the industry. Last week Boris Nemsic, CEO of Vimplecom, said that the merger was on course to be completed by mid-2010.