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26 Jun 2001

VimpelCom announces appointment of General Director for subsidiary "VimpelCom-Region"

Moscow and New York (June 26, 2001) - Open Joint Stock Company "Vimpel-Communications" ("VimpelCom" or the "Company") (NYSE: VIP) today announced that Alexei M. Mischenko has been appointed General Director of VimpelCom-Region, a wholly-owned subsidiary of VimpelCom that holds VimpelCom's regional GSM license portfolio. The appointment of Mr. Mischenko marks a further step in VimpelCom's increased focus on its regional operations.

On May 30, 2001, VimpelCom announced that it had signed a series of agreements with Alfa Group of Russia and Telenor East Invest AS ("Telenor"), VimpelCom's strategic partner since 1998, pursuant to which Alfa Group will purchase strategic ownership interests in both VimpelCom and VimpelCom-Region ("Transaction"). Under the terms of the Transaction, VimpelCom and VimpelCom-Region will raise up to $337 million of financing in order to accelerate the development of VimpelCom's regional GSM license portfolio. The Transaction is subject to shareholder approval at VimpelCom's July 27, 2001 extraordinary shareholders meeting, as well as regulatory approvals.

Mr. Mischenko brings extensive experience in the Russian telecommunications industry to VimpelCom-Region. Mr. Mischenko previously served as General Director of FORA Communications, a St. Petersburg-based mobile telecommunications operator owned by Millicom International. Prior to that he served as Managing Director of Lucent Technologies - St. Petersburg and Deputy Managing Director of Lucent Technologies - Russia.

Jo Lunder, Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom, said, "Alexei's knowledge of the Russian telecommunications industry and regions, combined with his Western management experience, will make him a very valuable addition to the VimpelCom management team."

Mr. Mischenko remarked, "This is a very exciting time to be joining VimpelCom-Region. I look forward to becoming part of a successful team and the challenge of further expanding the Bee Line name and operations throughout Russia."

VimpelCom is a leading provider of telecommunications services in Russia, operating under the "Bee Line" family of brand names, which are among the most recognized brand names in Russia. The VimpelCom Group's license portfolio covers approximately 70% of Russia's population (100 million people), including the City of Moscow and the Moscow Region. VimpelCom was the first Russian company to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE"). VimpelCom's ADSs are listed on the NYSE under the symbol "VIP". VimpelCom's convertible notes are listed on the NYSE under the symbol "VIP 05".

 

This press release contains "forward-looking statements", as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. These statements relate, in part, to the consummation of the Transaction which is subject to shareholder, regulatory and certain other approvals, as well as certain other conditions precedent. If any of the approvals are not obtained or any condition precedent is not met, the Transaction may not be consummated. The forward-looking statements relate to the Company's development and are based on management's best assessment of the Company's strategic and financial position and of future market conditions and trends. These discussions involve risks and uncertainties. The actual outcome may differ materially from these statements as a result of unforeseen developments from competition, governmental regulations of the wireless telecommunications industry, general political uncertainties in Russia and general economic developments in Russia and other factors. As a result of such risks and uncertainties, there can be no assurance that the effects of competition or current or future changes in the political, economic and social environment or current or future regulation of the Russian telecommunications industry will not have a material adverse effect on the VimpelCom Group. Certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in any forward-looking statements include the risks described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 1999 and other public filings made by the Company with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, which risk factors are incorporated herein by reference. VimpelCom disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments.

 

For more information, please contact:
Valery Goldin
VimpelCom (Moscow)
7(095) 974-5888
vgoldin@vimpelcom.com

Sigrid Peterson
Edelman Financial Worldwide
1(212) 704 8284
sigrid_peterson@edelman.com

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