International - POSTED: 2009/09/17 12:24
Russia has reached a settlement with Bank of New York Mellon over a $22.5 billion lawsuit against the bank stemming from a 1990s money laundering scheme by one of its executives, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Wednesday.
Russia would receive no less than $14 million for court costs under the long-anticipated, out-of-court deal, Kudrin said — only a fraction of the billions it was claiming. But he said the government would also get a $4 billion discounted loan from the bank, an "act of goodwill" Kudrin insisted is not related to the case.
He said the agreement would be signed soon.
The two-year-long court case stems from a decade-old scandal in which a Bank of New York vice president and her husband were convicted of illegally wiring $7.5 billion of Russian money into accounts at the bank. The Russian federal customs service went to court in 2007 to claim lost tax revenues on those transfers, but the judge overseeing the hearings has urged the two sides to reach a settlement.