Belarus looking for funds to repair roads

A section of road failed in Hrodna. Hrodna, Belarus. July 4, 2021. Photo: AutoGrodnoBY / Telegram

The Ministry of Transport and Communications of Belarus is trying to replace loans from European banks with road reconstruction projects. Minister Alyaksei Auramenka said so recently on the air of “Belarus 1.”

“It is important for us to keep moving on major investment projects. Among them is the M-3 Minsk-Vitebsk road near Pleshchanitsy, road R-46 from Lepel to Polatsk, with a bypass and a new bridge, highway M-7 Minsk – border with Lithuania. These are the major projects for which we have signed loan agreements with European banks,” said the Minister.

According to him, the Eurasian Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will replace the European loans. A total of about $500 million has to be secured.

The Minister promised to finish repairing roads from Minsk to Smalyavichy and from Slutsk to Salihorsk by the end of the year.

The European Union on June 25 limited Minsk’s access to the EU capital markets. It is prohibited to provide loans, as well as directly or indirectly buy, sell, provide investment services or facilitate the issue or otherwise conduct business with securities and money market instruments with a maturity of more than 90 days, which were issued after June 29, 2021, to the Government of Belarus, state bodies, corporations and agencies, large credit and other organizations, where the share of state property exceeds 50% as of June 1, 2021, as well as legal entities whose property rights directly or indirectly belong to more than 50% of any legal entity from the annex to this limitation. The appendix lists the Belarusian state banks: Belarusbank, Belinvestbank, Belagroprombank.

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