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Slovak Buyer of Ukrainian Iron Ore Refusal to Pay: Who Is Behind?

These days, the whole world is intensely watching the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict, the heroic struggle of the people of Ukraine for their country and its democratic choice. A war against an enemy that is many times superior in strength requires the mobilisation of all resources and the help of all those who are not indifferent to the future of democracy, not only in Ukraine, but also on the European continent as a whole.

And the countries of Eastern Europe have something to be proud of. From the first days of the humanitarian catastrophe that unfolded in Ukraine, residents of Polish, Czech, Lithuanian, and Slovak cities actively and massively supported the Ukrainians’ desire for freedom. Thousands of volunteers and millions of European citizens, in addition to governments and humanitarian organiszations, have provided diverse material assistance by sending transports with essentials, food, and medicines to Ukraine.

But not all citizens and companies of the European Union are that ready to support Ukraine at this difficult moment.

Our editors have obtained a curious document, the authenticity of which is beyond doubt, i.e. a letter from a large Ukrainian mining company, Kryvyi Rih Iron Ore Plant (KZHRK), addressed to the company LAMET S.R.O., registered in Slovakia.

Once again, we bring to your attention about the presence of overdue debts on the part of the company for the sinter ore shipped in December 2021. As of 4th February 2022, LAMET S.R.O. overdue debt in the amount of $1.209762 million has not been paid, the document says.

In the letter, the Ukrainian supplier emphasises that this is not a single case, but a permanent violation by LAMET S.R.O. terms of payment stipulated by the contract.

KZHRK is located in the area, which is quite near to the Mykolaiv region, where fierce fighting is taking place. Russian troops are constantly trying to break into this region. At the same time, the company continues to work and fulfil the previously concluded annual contracts with consumers from Austria, Poland, Serbia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Miners, risking their lives, go down into the mine workings every day, performing their labour feat in this war, not allowing them to doubt their ability to meet contractual obligations, and the country’s economy to stop completely.

The work of KZHRK today is jobs, taxes, the faith of the people of Ukraine in their victory and the future of the country.

In wartime, or in peacetime, any production process requires full-fledged financing, namely, the full and timely fulfilment of buyers’ calculations. Now, the implementation of this obvious rule is needed more than ever.

How does the long-term Slovak partner of Ukrainian miners respond?

As follows, from the correspondence between KZHRK and LAMET S.R.O. available to the editors, delays in payments for products supplied by Ukrainians to the Slovak company began last year, and now, in this difficult period for Ukraine, payments have stopped completely.

According to the report by OSINT company Infobel Pro, LAMET S.R.O. is allegedly part of an informal network of 14 small, intermediary trading companies registered in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg. In particular, the Luxembourg company CIFI S.A. deserves special attention, and Czech LAMET CZECH S.R.O.. by the way, as well. This entire cluster of companies is managed by a Slovak citizen: Mr. Kamaras.

In the meantime, when a major Ukrainian supplier asks to pay for the already delivered iron ore (judging by the amount, we can talk about more than 6,000 tons of sinter ore – this is a fairly large batch) and threatens with penalties, ordinary citizens of Slovakia collect as much as they can to send another shipment of humanitarian cargo to Ukraine.

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