Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Economics is determinant factor behind IMF's decisions on loan requests, says UN resident coordinator

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) considers loan requests on the basis of economic factors, not political ones, Antonius Bernardus Broek, UN resident coordinator/UNDP resident representative, told reporters in Minsk on Monday.

Countries participating in the IMF may have political motives to pursue, but the Fund’s Executive Board takes a decision on a loan request only with regard to economic factors, he said.

The Fund made no secret of its requirements that the Belarusian authorities should fulfill to get a bailout loan, he said, noting that the country's government had, for instance, failed to reform the banking sector and create better conditions for private businesses as demanded by the IMF.

He said that the IMF, like other institutions in the United Nations including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, was ready to deepen its dialogue and partnership ties with Belarus.

On October 20, the National Bank head, Nadzeya Yermakova, said that the IMF might reject the Belarusian government’s loan request on politically motivated grounds. She said that IMF representatives had indicated that the release of all political prisoners in Belarus was a prerequisite for the approval of the loan request. "But they [political prisoners] do not want to go out," she noted.

Speaking at a news conference in Minsk the following day, Martin Raiser, the Kyiv-based director of the World Bank for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, said that he would not comment on Ms. Yermakova’s statement.