Veon has confirmed it has exited the Russian telecommunications market with the sale of its operations to local management.

The Amsterdam-based telco this week announced it has closed the sale of its Russian business unit to a group of senior members of the PJSC VimpelCom (Beeline Russia) management team led by PJSC VimpelCom CEO Alexander Torbakhov.

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In a statement, Veon noted that its exit from the market does not provide for any buy-back arrangements and signifies a complete exit from the Russian market.

"The closing of the sale and the completion of our exit from Russia allow us to fully focus our energy on the way forward, meeting the growing demand in our markets – Pakistan, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan – with our digital operator strategy," said Veon Group CEO Kaan Terzioglu.

"I am pleased to note that we are now in a much stronger position to deliver our strategic priorities. We would like to thank all our stakeholders and regulatory bodies, including the US Treasury, who have supported our Company through this process.”

Veon has been attempting to shift its Russian business since last year, when it announced that it would sell its Russian operations – VimpelCom and local telco Beeline – to senior members of the local management team, led by its current CEO Torbakhov, for $2.1 billion.

However, in January the deal was blocked by the Russian government and sent back for revision, reportedly due to disagreements on bonds, before eventually Veon gained government clearance to sell the unit in February.

Though now Netherlands-based, Veon's historical roots are in Russia. Russian telco PJSC VimpelCom was founded in 1992 in Moscow and launched the Beeline brand in 1993. The Netherlands-based VimpelCom Ltd. holding company was founded in 2009 and was renamed Veon in 2017. Today Veon operates telecoms brands across Europe and Asia, largely through its Beeline brand.