Alexander Lukashenko Hunts Credit Line

// Belarus will ask $1.5 billion from Russia

It will cost Russia $1.5 billion of non-interest credit

Belarus authorities have officially acknowledged the country's macroeconomic problems related to new prices on Russian oil and natural gas. Belarus intends to ask Russia for a $1.5 billion interest-free credit for stabilization. Belarus government ordered to get ready for a large-scale privatization of state property in the republic. However, Belarusian economy simply does not have the problems requiring the sums asked by Alexander Lukashenko.

According to sources in Minsk, the interstate credit might reach $1.5 billion. A high-placed source in the Russian government said the credit for Belarus will be interest-free.

Officially, Belarus said it needs to improve its external payments account, and to spend considerably more on buying energy resources.

Yet, $1.5 billion is a large sum for Belarus (the gold and foreign currency reserves of the country's National bank reach about the same sum). Losses of Belarusian budget due to the increase of prices on Russian gas and oil are estimated at $600 million.

However, Minsk claims that the credit from Russia is absolutely necessary.