The Ministry of Finance of Belarus told RBC that our country owes Russia $7.55 billion.
According to the Ministry of Finance, as of June 1, Belarus’ foreign debt amounted to $7.82 billion.
Thus, Russia is the main creditor for Belarus, while Belarus is the main debtor for Russia.
Minsk owes Moscow twice as much as Ukraine ($3.7 billion), Venezuela ($3.5 billion) and Cuba ($3.2 billion) taken separately.
If we divide the debt to Russia into residents of our country, every citizen will have to pay Moscow $794.
In the summer of 2019, for the first time in recent years, Moscow refused to grant Minsk a loan of $630 million until Belarus takes steps towards economic integration with Russia.
Minsk planned to spend the money to refinance its current debt.
After that, Belarus requested a loan from China, as well as placed bonds in Russian rubles on the Russian market.
Russia’s refusal to provide Belarus with a loan for debt refinancing is one of the elements of the systemic economic pressure that Russia has started to exert on Belarus, said RBC senior researcher of the Belarusian Economic Research and Education Center (BEROC) Dzmitry Kruk.
According to the expert, there are many points of economic pressure on Belarus: apart from the frozen loan, it’s an oil maneuver, the issue of gas price since 2020, non-tariff trade restrictions, as well as the issue of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, which should be built by Rosatom.
The state debt (along with domestic loans) amounts to $21.5 billion. The state has already spent more than $660 million to repay it in the first six months of the year.