Latvian prime minister Aigars Kalvitis says he has received a proposal from TeliaSonera to privatize the remaining government shares in fixed network operator Lattelekom and Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT) and will present it to Tuesday's meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, the news agency LETA reports.
The government current owns 51 % of Lattelekom and 28 % of LMT (23 % is owned by Lattelekom, 49 % by TeliaSonera).
Kalvitis says he will propose forming a working group to negotiate the possible terms of the sale. TeliaSonera, otherwise known as Lattelekom's half-mother, has been saying for a couple of years that it would like to take 100 % of both operators.
This is a turnaround from the policy of the previous government of Indulis Emsis, who put the issue of privatization on ice. Kalvitis' statement can be seen as a breakthrough. It is know that earlier, as Minister of Economics in a previous government, Kalvitis was open to doing some kind of deal with TeliaSonera to settle the then-ongoing arbitration dispute.
More on this later and tommorrow.