Moscow is ready to restructure the loan which was provided to Minsk for the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, reports Interfax news agency citing a source familiar with the draft amendments to the intergovernmental agreement between the two countries.
According to him, Russia has prepared and tentatively agreed with the Belarusian side on changes to the agreement. The document envisages an extension of the loan term by 2 years - until the end of 2022, as well as the replacement of the current "mixed" interest rate with a fixed rate of 3.3% per annum. In addition, the beginning of the principal repayment may be postponed from April 1, 2021 to April 1, 2023. It is expected that the total financial effect of the restructuring of Belarus's debt on new terms will be comparable to a one-time write-off of the republic's obligations amounting to about $600 million.
The agreement between Moscow and Minsk to provide the government of Belarus a loan of up to $10 billion for the construction of a nuclear power plant was signed on November 25, 2011. As of April 1, 2020, $4.33 billion in funds had been used. At the end of February 2020, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that he had discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin the loan interest rates.