The Russian government is believed to have given its preliminary approval for the liquidation of state-controlled telecoms holding company Svyazinvest, news agency Prime-Tass reports, citing sources familiar with the situation. The admission was believed to have been made at a special meeting headed by deputy prime minister Sergei Ivanov, the source indicated, whilst a final decision on the liquidation is expected to be made by the end of the year. Prime-Tass reports that the liquidation will effectively see Svyazinvest’s assets transferred to its 43.37% subsidiary Rostelecom, which already retains a 25% (plus one share) stake in Svyazinvest itself. In the increasingly likely event of a merger, state-owned bank Vnesheconombank (VEB), which currently holds a 7.43% common stake in Rostelecom, is expected to buy Rostelecom’s Svyazinvest shares, thus avoiding a conflict of interest. The 25% stake has previously been valued at around RUB59.165 billion (USD1.892 billion).