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05 Feb 2004

VimpelCom appeals action by prosecutor's office

Moscow and New York (February 5, 2004) - Open Joint Stock Company "Vimpel-Communications" ("VimpelCom" or the "Company") announced today that it has filed an appeal of the action taken by the Russian prosecutor's office yesterday to initiate a criminal investigation of whether VimpelCom operated its business without a license. Unfortunately, yesterday's unwarranted decision by the prosecutor's office is the latest example of an escalation of an attack on the Company. VimpelCom has repeatedly acted in good faith, and stated our commitment to resolving this matter in a mutually acceptable way. However, as a New York Stock Exchange listed company, VimpelCom has an obligation and responsibility to its 11 million subscribers and thousands of shareholders to vigorously defend itself against these charges and any other claims that may arise if the attack continues.

VimpelCom is a leading provider of telecommunications services in Russia, operating under the "Bee Line" brand, which is one of the most recognized brand names in Russia. The VimpelCom Group's license portfolio covers approximately 92% of Russia's population (134 million people), including the City of Moscow, the Moscow Region and the City of St. Petersburg. 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".

 

This press release contains "forward-looking statements", as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements about an investigation by the prosecutor's office and the Company's ability to prove that it is in full compliance with the law. There is no assurance that the investigation will not result in an indictment and an indictment will not result in an ultimate conviction. Failure to prevail in any action initiated by the prosecutor's office could result in adverse consequences on the Company. 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, 2002 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.

 

For more information, please contact:
Valery Goldin

VimpelCom (Moscow)
Tel: 7(095) 974-5888
vgoldin@VimpelCom.com

Christopher Mittendorf
Edelman Financial Worldwide
Tel: (212) 704-8134
christopher.mittendorf@edelman.com

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