MINSK. Feb 22 (Interfax) - The Belarusian government has addressed the Russian government asking it to consider the extension of a stabilization loan of $1.5 billion to Belarus, the Belarusian Finance Ministry told Interfax.
Belarus will spend the money to improve the balance of payments and finance bilateral trade, in particular fuel purchases. The loan could also be used to finance budget spending that is increasing due to higher prices for Russian fuel or to refinance the remaining part of the unpaid government debts to Russia, which last extended a government loan of $147 million at the end of 2005.
A ministry spokesman said Belarus does not insist on the urgent disbursement of the loan given that the request was not foreseen in the 2007 Russian budget.