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BoNY nears Russian deal

THE RUSSIAN government is set to bring its $22.5bn (&pound;13.6bn) lawsuit against Bank of New York Mellon (BoNY) to an end after the bank agreed to provide credit to Moscow-based banks, sources told City A.M last night.<br /><br />An out-of-court settlement is being discussed that will see the USbanking giant restart trade-finance lending to banks nominated by the Russian government. <br />It is understood the two sides want a settlement before the next court hearing on 20 October, but the exact details hinge on Russian agreement.<br /><br />For more than two years, Russia has been seeking compensation after&nbsp; former BoNY vice-president Lucy Edwards admitted to helping to launder $7bn from Russia in the late 1990s through the bank&rsquo;s accounts.<br /><br />The bank rejected the claims and for more than two years it has been bogged down in procedural issues. It has never argued the merits of the case.<br /><br />Settlement talks began in March 2009 after the Russians called the bank to the table, but the pair have disagreed on how much it should cost to end the case, ranging from $1.5m to almost $1bn.<br /><br />Credit lines will be no more than $400m, renewed every six months over five years.