Updated at 18:18,16-07-2018

Lukashenko made IMF

Voice of America

International Monetary Fund welcomed the decision of Belarusian leadership to announce its strategy of macroeconomic stabilization, but can not yet estimate its potential impact on the economy, said permanent representative of IMF in Belarus Natalia Kolyadina to Interfax-Zapad news agency.

"We welcome the authorities decision to publish its strategy of macroeconomic stabilization, but in order to estimate the value of economic policy package and its impact on the economy, we need more information", stated IMF representative.

We remind that on Tuesday August 30 Alexandr Lukashenko held a special meeting to address issues on moving the economy out of the hardest in Belarusian statehood history currency and financial crisis. In particular, Lukashenko stated during the meeting, that the authorities will no longer control FX rate.

According to the president, the additional trading session will be introduced at FX market, where the rate will be determined in accordance with market laws. Lukashenko also said that at this session the currency can be bought freely, and the rate to be formed on the basis of supply and demand.

While commenting the statements of Belarusian leader, Natalia Kolyadina, the IMF representative in Belarus noted that, "the announced partial liberalization of FX currency trading is a step in the right direction".

"However, it is necessary to make the FX market truly free, so that its participants are not subjected to interference from the authorities. It is important to immediately unify the exchange rates in all market segments", said Kolyadina.

The IMF representative also expressed the concern about the situation of the sharply dropped during the last months people's incomes as a result of Belarusian ruble depreciation.

It is known, that on Monday 29 August, the IMF Committee of Directors had to publish the results of considering the Belarusian request for the loan in the amount of 3.5-8 billion dollars to overcome the effects of financial and economic crisis. However, until now the solution of international financiers remains unknown.

Answering the question of journalists why IMF has not yet announced its decision, if it was made of course, Kolyadina said: "The Committee of Directors has been held, all information will be published in the next few days. The only reason it has not been published is our purely technical reasons".

Meanwhile, according to the testimonies of Belarusians themselves, along with the disproportional in recent months - compared with an increase in salaries - rise in prices for goods and services, in the country begins a food crisis. In shops there are interruptions of meat products supplying. Belarusians are also anxious about the unprecedented influx of Russian "speculators", who come to Belarus by cars and buy up relatively cheap (due to lack of a single FX rate) Belarusian goods to resell them in Russia.

While commenting to the Voice of America correspondent on the probability of issuing the IMF loan for Belarus, the professor of Radford University Grigory Ioffe noticed that today, apparently, in the IMF there is and active discussion of all the pros and cons between supporters and opponents of granting to Belarus the financial aid package.

"Today it is very conjectural. As far as I know, the IMF now has two camps: the supporters and opponents of issuing the loan to Belarus. Opponents of this move believe it is necessary to note the statement of six U.S. senators, as well as some other well-known political figures such as David Kramer, who publicly urged the IMF to refrain from issuing any credit to Lukashenko as long as all the political prisoners are not released. The advocates of granting money believe, that if this does not happen, Lukashenko will be finely abandoned to the mercy of Kremlin", supposes Ioffe.

The political analyst considers himself more the supporter of the second option of scenario.

"IMF is the very non-political organization, so I do not exclude the possibility that it may ignore the call of U.S. lawmakers, while issuing the loan. If this does not happen, the only source of liquidity for Belarus will be Moscow with all its consequences," said Ioffe.