Putin decides to lend Belarus $600 million
Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to grant Minsk a $600 million government loan, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters on Monday. The funds will be used to refinance the repayment of prior loans issued by Moscow.
Siluanov also noted that, by the end of April, Belarus may also receive a $200 million tranche from the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD).
According to the finance minister, the countries are currently discussing the procedures necessary for the signing of an intergovernmental agreement.
At the end of February, Belarus asked Moscow for a loan to cover its debt. Minsk was hoping for a total of $1 billion in order to service its debts both to Russia and to the EFSD.
In 2017, Belarus received a $700 million loan from Russia for a period of ten years. By order of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the funds were issued “for the purpose of further strengthening friendly relations” and to help the repayment of prior loans.
In the middle of May 2018, Minsk owed Moscow a total of $6.3 billion and around 60 billion rubles, according to the Russian news agency TASS. However, Belarus has not yet been late on any of its repayments to Russia.