Members of US Congress urge IMF not to allocate $950 mln to Lukashenka regime

The Friends of Belarus Caucus (USA) addressed a letter to Elizabeth Shortino, Acting US Executive at the International Monetary Fund, asking the organization not to provide the Lukashenka regime with a financial injection to the tune of $950 mln.

Photo: АВ / Belsat

US Congressman Bill Keating published the text of the letter on Twitter. According to him, it is important they stand with Belarus and limit the regime’s access and use of these funds.

As reported earlier, the International Monetary Fund is allocating money to help countries meet COVID-19 pandemic recovery needs regardless of their domestic issues.

In the letter, the authors conveyed deep regret at the decision of the International Monetary Fund’s Board of Governors to allocate IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDR) funds to the Belarusian authorities.

“The Lukashenka regime has oppressed and brutalized its own people and must be held accountable for these reprehensible actions. For these reasons, we strongly oppose the allocation of almost $1 billion of SDR funds, as they undermine the substantial efforts made by the democratic movement in Belarus to fight back against the regime’s repression,” the appeal reads.

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According to the signers, allocating this funding also counteracts the progress made by the United States and its allies in sanctioning and raising the costs on the regime. Moreover, they stress that the ability to access hard currency sends a message to authoritarian leaders that they can be rewarded for state-sponsored violence against their own citizens.

“We implore you to use America’s voice, voting power and influence to defend our democratic principles abroad. Specifically, we urge you to work with IMF member states to restrict or condition the use of these funds to proactively prevent the Lukashenka regime from accessing the hard currency they desperately desire until they have agreed to a dialogue with the Coordination Council and organize free and fair elections,” the US politicians added.

The bipartisan Friends of Belarus Caucus was established to support the freedom and democracy movement in Belarus, call for new free and fair elections, and stand against the ‘repressive, abhorrent, and illegitimate’ Lukashenka regime.

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