Russia will grant a state loan of up to $600 mln to Belarus, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.
According to him, the funds will be used for repayment of principal made on previously issued loans.
The signing of the intergovernmental agreement is in the making, Russian news agency TASS reports.
In addition, Minsk might receive the seventh loan tranche ($200 mln) from the Eurasian Stabilization and Development Fund by the end of April, Siluanov said. The Russian Finance Minister stressed that Belarus had completed the implementation of the measures required for the issuance of the tranche.
In late December, Stanislau Bahdankevich, a Belarusian economist and former chairman of the National Bank, reminded in an interview with Belsat.eu that Belarus would face large payments on foreign and domestic debts in 2019.
“If we are given loans (by Russia for example), and we will repay the old ones with new loans, then the rate can be stable. And if difficulties arise due to the problems that are brewing with Russia, and Russia does not finance us, does not give new loans to pay off the old ones, then a significant devaluation of the national currency is possible,” he said.
In 2019, the government debt payments will amount to more than 8.5 bn rubles, a third of it will go to covering for the internal debt, another third – for Russian loans. This year, Belarus has to repay almost 1.5 bn rubles to China, another billion – to the Russia-controlled Eurasian Bank of Stabilization and Development.