Kosovo: BT exits partnership with PTK

Prishtinë, Jan 23, 2006 – British telecommunications company BT PLC has stopped all work on forming a strategic alliance partnership with Kosovo’s Post and Telecom, a BT spokesman said Thursday.

It was not immediately clear what made the deal collapse.

Alan Ball, Information Officer for BT Global Services, confirmed to RTK that the British Telecom withdraws from the agreement with PTK, signed on 4 December 2005. He said that after analyzing the course of developments since having signed the agreement with PTK, the BT Managing Board decided to stop the negotiations for finalizing this agreement.

Ball said that the BT Board instructed all its employees and its contractors to stop all activities and cooperation with PTK. He also said that BT has officially informed the PTK, the KTA Board, the Kosovo Government and UNMIK about this decision on Thursday.

PTK Spokesperson, Seremb Gjergji, confirmed in RTK and most of the dailies that the negotiations with BT are over. “PTK’s efforts to reach a Strategic Alliance with BT are over,” he said. “But PTK will continue to make efforts to reach such an alliance with another world-wide known company.”

RTK reports that UNMIK Spokesperson, Remi Dourlot, said he is not informed about such decision. But he did not exclude the possibility that the information might have arrived on Thursday.

Lajm quotes UNMIK Pillar IV Spokesperson, Mechthild Henneke, as saying: “This partnership is still valid. We can not comment this issue further.”

Also Ilir Salihu, Deputy Director for POEs at KTA, said they are waiting for the confirmation from BT whether it is willing to continue the negotiations. “I can not say anything,” said Salihu. “We are waiting for an answer from BT.”

According to RTK, as the partnership with BT failed, it is believed that the PTK will establish a strategic alliance with Cable and Wireless Company, where former NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson is part of the Board.