In 1989, Czechoslovakia secretly lent $ 1.3 billion to the Soviet Union, the newspaper Hospodářské noviny reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper refers to documents from the National Archives, found in collaboration with the Aktualne.cz, the weekly Respekt and the anti-corruption organization Observation Post.
The loan was arranged by the Czechoslovak Ministry of Finance, headed at the time by Václav Klaus. The money was lent on the basis of an agreement reached by the Czechoslovakian Communist government of Ladislav Adamec.
It became part of a multi-billion dollar Russian debt, only part of which was ever repaid.
According to Hospodarske Noviny, the idea of the loan was Zdeněk Rachač, an official of the Ministry of Finance.
Klaus became Minister of Finance after the Velvet Revolution and the fall of the Communist regime when the Adamec government was replaced by the one led by Marian Calfa.
Klaus told Hospodářské noviny he was unaware of any such covert loan. However, there is a letter from December 1989 in which Klaus was warned against sending the loan to Russia by the then director of the Czechoslovak Commercial Bank (ČSOB).