MOSCOW, September 26 (RAPSI) – VTB Bank has filed a lawsuit with Moscow’s Commercial Court seeking 2.99 billion rubles (about $78 million) from Mechel, Russia's biggest producer of steelmaking coal, the court records read.

Mechel owes a large part of its $8 billion debt to Russia’s three largest banks: VTB, Sberbank and Gazprombank.

VTB President and Chairman of the Management Board Andrei Kostin said on Friday they had sued Mechel after it refused to convert its debt into stock. Restructuring the company’s debt would be useless in this situation, Kostin said, adding that Sberbank shares this view.

Mechel, which is one of Russia’s largest metals and mining groups, announced on May 13 that its coal production in the first quarter decreased 13% year on year, to 5.565 million metric tons, and that its steel output fell 21% to 1.03 million metric tons. As for February 2014, Mechel’s net debt amounted to over $8 billion. Its net loss for the first nine months of 2013, calculated under US GAAP, reached $2.2 billion.