Belarus refuses loan from IMF in order to not 'shock the population'

The Belarusian Minister of Finance Maksim Yermolovich said during an evening broadcast of the STV channel that the government refused a loan from the IMF to avoid the possible shock of the population. “The head of state said that this will be a shock to our people. Therefore, the government refused the IMF program,” said Yermolovich.

According to him, the Belarusian government had to do it because the IMF demanded that the reforms be implemented in a shorter period than agreed by the government. 

According to him, there is no disagreement between the IMF and Minsk regarding the reforms.

“We, together with IMF experts, have developed a program for structural reforms, which is consistent with the philosophy of the IMF. Basically, in key points, our opinions coincide regarding the program. However, our time frame for implementation is different,” explained the head of the Ministry of Finance.

He also said that in the short-term, the Ministry of Finance of Belarus plans to place sovereign bonds in the amount of $2 billion in Russian and Chinese markets.

At the same time, Belarus is not planning on issuing Eurobonds next year.

As reported, from September 6th to 19th, the IMF mission is visiting Kyiv to discuss recent economic events and Ukrainian economic policy. Questions regarding the IMF granting financial assistance will be discussed to support policies aimed at ensuring macroeconomic stability in Ukraine, and further development of the country’s economy towards sustainable and inclusive growth. The IMF is currently using the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to provide loans to Ukraine. The program began in March 2015 and will last until March 2019.

The total volume of the program amounted to $17.5 billion, while Ukraine only received 8.7 billion dollars of the total amount (the first tranche of $5 billion dollars - in March 2015, the second - $1.7 billion dollars in August 2015, the third - $1 billion in September 2016, the fourth - for $1 billion in April 2017).

  Belarus, Ukraine, IMF