EurAsEc approves $3 bln. loan for Belarus
The EurAsEc anti-crisis fund has approved the disbursement of a $3 billion stabilization loan for Belarus to help the eastern European country tackle its currency problems, Russian Prime Minister's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday.
"The finance ministers of all the EurAsEc countries approved the disbursement of a $3 billion loan for Belarus," Peskov said, adding that the loan will be given in three tranches.
In the first quarter of this year, the Belarusian ruble experienced pressure from a large trade deficit, generous wage increases and loans granted by the government ahead of the December 2010 presidential elections, which spurred strong demand for foreign currency.
As a result, Belarus' central bank has devalued the ruble to 4,930 per dollar from 3,155, while the government has applied for a $1 billion loan from Russia and a $2 billion loan from EurAsEC.
Belarus will receive $1.2 billion during the first year form the EurAsEC relief fund, $800 million during the second year, one $1 billion during the third year.
Belarusian Finance Minister Andrei Kharkovets said Belarus hopes to sign a credit agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this fall.