Belarus does not need further "emergency" loans, deputy economy minister says
19 мая 2009, 11:44
Belarus does not need further external emergency financing to tackle the effects of the global economic crisis, Deputy Economy Minister Pyotr Zhabko said, when speaking at an annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London on May 15.
"The Belarusian government sees no need for further external emergency financing to ride out the economic crisis as long as demand in European and Russian markets holds up", the Dow Jones Newswires quoted Mr. Zhabko as saying in London.
"We hope the economic situation in Russia will improve and the European Union demand for our products will stop stagnating - and then everything will be fine", he said. However, the deputy minister added that "if there is a need [for further external financing] then the international institutions will help".
Since the economic crisis gripped markets, Belarus has obtained loans from the International Monetary Fund and neighboring Russia. In late 2008, Russia agreed to provide a $2-billion stabilization loan to Belarus, with $1.5-billion of it already made available.
The IMF approved a $2.46-billion stand-by loan arrangement for Belarus on January 12, 2009. Belarus has already received the first $788 million tranche and the rest is set to be released over the next 14 months.
In addition, the Belarusian government earlier announced plans to receive a loan of 100 billion Russian rubles from the neighboring country to use its national currency in mutual payments and a $2-billion loan from Sberbank. Belarus is also in talks with the World Bank on the government`s $1-billion loan request.