Russia Drops $22.5 Billion Suit Against BNY Mellon

Russia on Thursday dropped a $22.5 billion lawsuit against Bank of New York Mellon stemming from a decade-old money laundering case involving one of its former executives.

Bank of New York Mellon agreed to pay $14 million in court costs, the bank and Russia's federal customs service said in a joint statement.

The customs service formally asked the Moscow Arbitration Court to close the case and the court agreed, bank spokeswoman Natalya Miroyevskaya said from the courtroom.

Thursday's agreement was anticipated after Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin announced in September that Russia had reached a settlement with the bank under which it would receive no less than $14 million for court costs.


Kudrin said the government would also receive a $4 billion discounted loan from the bank, which he insisted was not related to the lawsuit.

The case stems from a 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 in the 1990s. The customs service went to court in 2007 to claim lost tax revenues on those transfers.

Andrei Belyaninov, chief of the customs service, said in the statement that the case demonstrated Russia's "vigilance in international financial markets" and "the efficiency and independence of Russian courts."

Matthew Baben, executive vice president of Bank of New York Mellon, said the bank is "pleased to have this matter behind us."