June 05, 2007
Bank Demands €80 Million from Cuba
The International Investment Bank, in which Russia is the largest
shareholder, will file suit against Cuba in the International Commercial
Arbitration Court of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian
Federation over its debts of more than €80 million. Settling the Cuban
debt would reinvigorate the bank of the former socialist world, and
allow Russia to form an international development bank around it to work
in Central and Eastern Europe.
Cuba, which is also a shareholder in the bank, has until June 22 to
reach a settlement with it, under a decision reached at the 85th meeting
of the bank's board in Moscow last week. This is the first time the bank
has gone to court against one of its shareholders.
The International Investment Bank was founded in 1970 by the member
states of the Council of Economic Mutual Aid. The USSR had the largest
share in it with 44.7 percent. The Russian share rose to 58 percent
after Poland and Hungary resigned their membership. The other members of
the bank are Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Cuba,
Vietnam and Mongolia. The bank is not a resident of Russia and is not
licensed in Russia. As of December 31, 2006, its assets were €335
million and its own funds were € 333.8 million.
The bank declared a default on its debts to Western creditors in 1993.
Russia settled its $710-million debt to the bank in 2004, leaves Cuba's
the last outstanding debt. Cuba has not sent representatives to work for
the bank or participate in board meetings for several years.