Telenor emerged with its second legal victory in a month as a Russian appeals court dismissed a $2.8 billion fine that had been imposed on the Norwegian carrier for its alleged interference in efforts by Russian wireless operator Vimpelcom to acquire a Ukrainian wireless firm. The decision, handed down on Monday, follows a recent contempt-of-court ruling that was issued by a New York district court in connection with a dispute between Telenor and its venture partner Alfa over Ukrainian mobile phone firm Kyivstar. As in the Kyivstar case, Telenor is linked with Alfa in the ownership of Vimpelcom, in which Telenor and Alfa hold respective stakes of 29.9% and 44%. In the case at hand, Fairmex, a minority Vimpelcom shareholder based in the British Virgin Islands, accused Telenor of attempting to obstruct Vimpelcom’s purchase of Ukrainian RadioSystems in 2005. In turn, Telenor asserted that Fairmex is linked to Alfa and was acting on Alfa’s behalf in pursing the lawsuit. After siding with Fairmex, a Siberian court ordered Telenor last August to pay damages to Vimpelcom in the amount of $2.8 billion. That fine, however, was overturned this week. A spokesman for Telenor confirmed that the appeals court based its decision on “serious violations of procedural law” by the lower court. Although the fine was dismissed, the court has ordered a retrial that is scheduled to commence on February 19. Sources indicate that, if Fairmex prevails during the retrial, Telenor could be forced to sell its Vimpelcom stake.