Finance Ministry threatens Devín Banka with lawsuit

Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová told an August 31 press conference that her ministry was pressing for an out-of-court settlement with Devín Banka, a Russian-owned bank that owes the Slovak state an unspecified sum for settling the Russian debt.

Schmögnerová said that Devín Banka had failed to keep the terms of a contract it signed with former Finance Minister Sergej Kozlík requiring it to pay fees to the state for the right to settle the Russian debt to Slovakia. The contract expired on December 31 last year, and since then Devín Banka has not performed debt settlement for the country.

Despite the dispute over fees, Devín Banka was one of only two banks to apply for a tender to settle the Russian debt called by Slovak energy utility SE on August 11. SE has said it will choose a winner by September 15, but the government, concerned about the transparency and fairness of the tender, has called for a cabinet commission to evaluate the tender process.

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