Russia’s MTS may purchase the right to use the brand of a major international telco such as Vodafone in Ukraine.

Quoting sources at the company, Vedomosti says that by doing so the connection between MTS Ukraine and its Russian parent company would hopefully be less obvious.

It adds that the idea of re-branding emerged over a year ago and negotiations with Virgin failed to yield results.

However, there is a possibility that an agreement could be reached with Vodafone.

MTS already has a wider deal with Vodafone in place. Dating back to 2008 and due to expire at the end of this year, it allows the companies to share marketing and technological expertise, as well as jointly purchase equipment.

Vodafone launched a programme in 2001 that has seen its brand used in a number of markets for no additional investment on the company’s part.

In Central and Eastern Europe, they include Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia and the three Baltic Republics.