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07 Sep 1999

VimpelCom in disccussions with strategic partner to jointly invest up to $300 million to develop regional GSM-900/1800 licenses

Moscow and New York (September 7, 1999) - Open Joint Stock Company "Vimpel-Communications" ("VimpelCom" or the "Company") (NYSE: VIP) reported today that it is in discussions with its strategic partner Telenor AS ("Telenor") regarding the joint financing of up to $300 million of investments over the next five years in VimpelCom's regional licensed territories. VimpelCom also reported that it had received GSM-900 amendments to its GSM-1800 licenses which cover approximately 70% of Russia's population.

The catalyst for the present discussions between VimpelCom and Telenor was the recent amendment of three of VimpelCom's regional GSM-1800 licenses to include the provision of GSM-900 cellular services. VimpelCom now has five GSM-900/1800 licenses, which cover a population of approximately 100 million. The new GSM-900 amendments allow VimpelCom to operate dual band GSM-900/1800 networks in the Volga, North Caucasus and the Siberian Regions, subject to receipt of all ancillary permissions and frequency allocations and the satisfaction of any conditions therein. VimpelCom also has licenses to operate dual band GSM-900/1800 networks in the Moscow and the Central and Central Black Earth Regions.

VimpelCom's investments for its regional expansion plans are contemplated to be made through a newly-established subsidiary that is currently wholly-owned by VimpelCom. VimpelCom's ownership in this subsidiary may be reduced by third party investments, including potential investments by Telenor. The new company will also explore available means of debt financing on appropriate terms, including vendor financing. VimpelCom's and Telenor's respective board of directors are expected to finalize their investment decisions by the end of this year.

Dmitri Zimin, President and Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom said, "We are very pleased with our strategic partnership with Telenor and see these discussions for joint investments in the regions as a natural extension of our vision and commitment to the Russian telecommunications market. A key element of our strategy for expanding our footprint into the regions is to ensure broad cooperation with local industry leaders."

Dr. Zimin continued, "Naturally, our Moscow operations are, and will continue to be for many years to come, our core business. We can assure our partners and shareholders that building shareholder value is, as always, a central focus in all of our planning. From this perspective, we believe that establishing a measured and strategic presence throughout Russia will enhance our overall competitive strength and value."

Telenor's chief representative in Russia, Magnus Dokset said, "Together with our partner VimpelCom, we are committed to the Russian market and are prepared to consider significant additional investments. The granting of the GSM-900 amendments to VimpelCom's GSM-1800 licenses makes investments more viable, as VimpelCom's capital expenditures in the regions can now be expected to be approximately 40% less. We view this opportunity to develop a private national cellular operator in Russia as a clear sign and commitment by the Russian government to attract foreign investment and continue to develop the telecommunications market in Russia."

Telenor owns approximately 25.7% of VimpelCom's total voting capital stock. In May 1999, VimpelCom and Telenor closed a transaction whereby Telenor agreed to pay approximately $162 million for its ownership interest. VimpelCom will use a portion of these proceeds towards the financing of its regional expansion.

Telenor is a provider of fixed, mobile, satellite and Internet services and is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. Telenor operates GSM mobile networks in Norway, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Montenegro, Russia, Ukraine and Bangladesh. The current Telenor mobile subscriber base in Norway numbers approximately 1.7 million, a 75% market share in one of the world's most heavily penetrated mobile markets, where the penetration rate is approximately 50%. Telenor's satellite based telephony operations are amongst the largest in the world. Telenor is a co-owner of the INTELSAT, EUTELSAT and INMARSAT satellite organizations. Telenor is also the largest distributor of TV programs to the Scandinavian market.

VimpelCom is a leading provider of cellular telecommunications in Russia, marketing its services under the brand name "Bee Line". The VimpelCom Group operates GSM-900/1800 and Digital-AMPS cellular networks in the Moscow License Area, which includes the City of Moscow and the Moscow Region. The VimpelCom Group holds cellular licenses covering a total population of approximately 100 million (70% of Russia's population). VimpelCom was the first Russian company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (November 1996), and its ADSs trade under the symbol "VIP".

This press release contains forward-looking statements related to the development of the Company's business which involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on Management's best assessment of future market conditions and trends. The actual outcome may differ materially from these statements as a result of unforeseen developments from competition, governmental regulations of the wireless telecommunications industry, general political and economic uncertainties in Russia and other factors. The VimpelCom Group is unable to predict if any action may be taken by any of its competitors, regulatory or governmental authorities or other parties in an attempt to suspend, terminate or revoke its new GSM-900 license amendments. Such actions could have a material adverse effect on the VimpelCom Group. Certain other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in any statements contained in this release include the risks described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 1998 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 statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments.

For more information, please contact:
Valery Goldin
VimpelCom (Moscow)
7(095) 974-5888

Glenn Wiener
Edelman Financial Worldwide
1 (212) 704 8174