Russia's Vimpelcom says committed to Ukraine, no plans to leave

MOSCOW, March 6 Thu Mar 6, 2014 5:46am EST

MOSCOW, March 6 (Reuters) - Russia's third-biggest mobile phone operator Vimpelcom has no plans to leave Ukraine, where it is the top mobile operator with its Kyivstar brand, and would like to invest more in the country, its CEO Jo Lunder said.

Vimpelcom earlier reported a $2.7 billion fourth quarter net loss which reflected non-cash impairments of $2.9 billion, including just over $2 billion in Ukraine.

"We have zero plans of leaving the country, on the contrary, we would like to invest more," said Lunder. "We believe in the management team and the brand we have there. So for Vimpelcom we have a very long-term view on Ukraine."

Lunder said the impairment charge was around 75 percent related to political and macro risk and around 25 percent related to Kyivstar's performance. He said the Ukrainian operations had not suffered disruptions to services during the recent volatility in the country.