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TeliaSonera board makes statement on the external review of operator's investments in Uzbekistan

TeliaSonera Board Comments on External Review

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2/1/2013
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STOCKHOLM -- In September last year, serious allegations were directed at TeliaSonera in relation to the company's investments in Uzbekistan. The law firm Mannheimer Swartling was assigned to get to the bottom of facts and make an outside assessment of these allegations. This review has now been finalized and has not found substance to the allegations that TeliaSonera has been involved in bribery or money laundering. On October 3, 2012, the Board of Directors of TeliaSonera assigned the law firm Mannheimer Swartling, led by its Chairman Biörn Riese, to investigate whether TeliaSonera's investment in a 3G license, frequencies and number blocks in Uzbekistan in 2007 involved corruption or money laundering. Later, the investigation was expanded to include more recent investments in connection with TeliaSonera's operations in Uzbekistan. Following the report presented by Biörn Riese on Friday February 1, 2013, the Board has issued the following statement. The Board concludes that Mannheimer Swartling has not found any substance to the allegations that TeliaSonera committed bribery or participated in money laundering in connection with its investments in Uzbekistan. Mannheimer Swartling also makes the natural observation that the suspicions of crime expressed by the Swedish Prosecution Authority cannot be dismissed by this investigation. Mannheimer Swartling also acknowledges that business ethics, as well as OECD and UN regulations and national legislation, have been strengthened significantly in recent years. Mannheimer Swartling directs serious criticism at TeliaSonera for shortcomings in the investment process and concludes that not enough effort was made to investigate neither the local partner in Uzbekistan, nor how the local partner could hold the rights which were later transferred. Mannheimer Swartling says that the internal controls were not sufficient to ensure that it did not risk becoming involved in any unethical business, and that thereby the company’s internal ethical guidelines were not followed completely. The Board's conclusion is that the investments were not carried out in a satisfactory manner. Overall, the internal information and control at different levels (owners, directors, management and line management) was not sufficient to pick up warning signs that there were ethical risks. In hindsight, it is evident that a more stringent investigation of the counterparties should have been conducted. One consequence of this was that subsequent investments were also not subjected to proper examination. The Board concurs with and shares Mannheimer Swartling’s criticism. The Board would, at the same time, like to emphasize that behind TeliaSonera investments there was a broad consensus among major shareholders and the Board of directors for expansion into Eurasia. This business has contributed significantly to the Group's growth and profitability, and foreign investment in infrastructure has been an important element in modernizing countries following the collapse of the Soviet Union. TeliaSonera AB

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