According to IT and Telecoms: Liberalisation of the long-distance telecommunications market has been postponed from 1 July 2005 until 1 January 2006, Russia Journal reported on the press service of the IT and Telecommunications Ministry. The government has been asked by the Ministry for the delay because some documents required for the deregulation had not yet been drafted by the Economy Ministry. According to the Telecommunications Ministry, the postponement has already been ratified. The Ministry itself asserts that it has presented all the documents required.
Russia Journal further informs that long-distance telecommunications services were included into the list of licensed services in February this year. Prior to that, Rostelecom had been the only nationwide long distance and international telecommunications operator. In late May, the federal telecommunications supervision service granted licenses to three more operators – Centerinfocom, Golden Telecom and Multiregional Transit Telecom (MTT). However, these three companies are not entitled to render the services unless the rules of joining, which stipulate operators’ behavior on the market, come into effect.