Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

Reuters: Belarus urges IMF to clear way for credit program


Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko urged the International Monetary Fund to stop playing politics to clear the way for a new $3.5 billion credit program.

The former Soviet republic, recovering from a balance-of-payments crisis and a subsequent devaluation of the Belarussian rouble, faces a foreign debt repayment crunch in 2013.

In an interview with Reuters, Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994 and allows only limited market reforms in the state-dominated economy, said Belarus had fulfilled all agreements with the IMF and was in talks on a possible new credit arrangement.

But he said he wanted the Fund to cease taking a political approach in its dealings with Belarus.

"If the IMF is a purely financial and economic organization we will reach an agreement with it. If it plays politics, we will be holding talks for a long time," he said.

"As soon as the IMF gets away from political cliches and political criteria in its approach to Belarus, we will reach an agreement in 24 hours," he added.