New Delhi: Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin sought a steady and stable investment climate in India to boost business between the two countries.

“Governments should demonstratively help their business representatives to solve the issues that emerge due to contact with bureaucracy because business is indivisible from the state," Rogozin told reporters on Monday. “The governments of India and Russia should work to support the (business) people."

Rogozin, who is in India to lay the groundwork for a visit in November by Russian President Vladimir Putin, did not name any company. But, the India-Russia joint venture Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd that operates the MTS brand of mobile-phone services in India, has been affected by a 2 February Supreme Court ruling that cancelled 122 telecom licences in the wake of the allegations of corruption in the auction of second generation spectrum.

Russia’s Sistema has a 56.68% stake and together with the Russian government holds a 74% stake in Sistema Shyam, which had 21 of its 22 permits cancelled by the court.

Sistema Shyam has filed a curative petition before the apex court, asking it to set aside verdict cancelling its licences. The court-ordered 2G spectrum auction is expected to begin on 12 November with 19 October being the last date for applications for potential bidders.

Though India and Russia enjoy warm political ties, business links between the two nations have been described often as below potential with both sides setting a target of $20 billion by 2015.

Foreign minister S.M. Krishna agreed with Rogozin’s views. “It is necessary for our businesses not to be intimated (intimidated???) by certain obstacles which do come up in a democratic society where there is the due process of law and where any one can take a matter to a court of law and delay implementation of a particular project," Krishna said.

On the Sistema Shyam case, Krishna declined to comment because the matter was pending before the courts. “We have to await the outcome," he said.

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