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16 Apr 2020

Belarus seeks $1bn loan from EBRD to support coronavirus-hit sectors

Belarus seeks $1bn loan from EBRD to support coronavirus-hit sectors
Dmitry Krutoi. An archive photo

MINSK, 16 April (BelTA) – Belarus is interested in a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) of up to $1 billion to support the economic sectors that suffered most from the COVID-19 outbreak. The matter was discussed between Belarus’ First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Krutoi and EBRD Vice President Alain Pilloux during a video conference, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian government.

“The first deputy prime minister stressed that Belarus is interested in the EBRD loan of up to $1 billion for large state-owned banks - Belarusbank, Belagroprombank, Belinvestbank, Development Bank, including for small and medium-sized companies from the most affected economic sectors,” the press service said.

According to Dmitry Krutoi, all previously signed agreements with the EBRD are under implementation. In projects where there are objective difficulties in implementation, for example, there is no possibility to hold tenders or attract international consultants because of the pandemic (which is a condition of all loan agreements with the EBRD), the bank will not apply punitive penalties.

“As for co-financing with other financial institutions (World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Investment Bank), there are plans to maintain the limits for the current EBRD clients in Belarus, as well as to expand the mandate for loans to certain government organizations in a difficult situation (Belavia, Belarusian Railways, Gomelsteklo, woodworking enterprises),” said Dmitry Krutoi.

The parties agreed to use an accelerated procedure for the preparation of relevant decisions and actively use the format of video conferences, the press service said.

Belarus supported the temporary extension of EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti's term due to the unfavorable epidemiological situation.

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