MOSCOW, April 26 (RAPSI) - The Moscow Commercial Court has resumed the hearing of Plastima's 2 million euro claim against Sberbank alongside Sberbank's lawsuit to invalidate its surety bond of the same amount, the court told RAPSI on Friday.

The hearing has been scheduled for June 11.

Plastima, a Lithuanian company, has received a 2.5 million euro guarantee in 2009 from its trade partner, Kaliningrad-Promplast, as security for a polymer supply contract. The guarantee was issued by Sberbank and delivered to Lithuania's SEB Bankas through the SWIFT system.

As the buyer has not paid for the goods supplied in full, the seller asked for a payment from Sberbank. However, the Russian bank rejected the request, stating that the surety bond and the supplements transferred through the SWIFT system over five months were issued by an employee without the necessary authorization.

A lawyer representing Sberbank said in court that the guarantee was issued without due authorization through a fraudulent scheme and that an investigation has been opened against the bank employee who performed the transaction. Sbernbank has not approved the deal, and the guarantee is therefore illegal, the lawyer stressed.
The court resumed the hearing in the case.

Plastima Director Rolandas Savickas said this is probably the first case in global practice when a bank has refused to recognize its guarantees, citing an unauthorized issuance by an employee. He said the company will continue trying to make Sberbank fulfill its obligations, but remains open for an out-of-court settlement.