A leading Russian company is interested in buying Telekom Srbija, with the move being not only economic but also strategic.

Blic reports that the prospect of such a deal is likely to draw a response from the US, which will “not sit idly by” and let it happen.

Blic names the interested Russian party as Milos Fridman and his business partner Mehmet Karamehmet, co-owners of Alfa and Sistema Holding, which has a majority stake in the Russian mobile operator MTS.

Telekom Srbija is considered a strategic asset as it controls the communications infrastructure in Serbia.

It also has an IPTV service that provides the main competition to cable operators.

Several companies have been linked with Telekom Srbija.

They include Telekom Austria, which lodged a bid of €1.1 billion for a 5% stake in the company in 2011 only to have it rejected by the government, which was seeking an additional €300 million.

However, there is strong opposition to the sale of the telco within Serbia itself.