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Opinions & Interviews

3 Oct 2016

Belarusian delegation to continue consultations on new IMF program in Washington

Belarusian delegation to continue consultations on new IMF program in Washington

MINSK, 3 October (BelTA) – A Belarusian delegation will continue consultations on a new credit program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, USA, BelTA learned from Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) Pavel Kallaur after Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko held a government conference on 3 October to discuss interaction with the IMF.

Pavel Kallaur noted: “We are talking about the IMF’s extended financing program in support of the actions and intentions, which are, generally speaking, stipulated by the government’s action program for the next five years.”

In his words, negotiations are underway for Belarus to borrow $3 billion with a 2.3% interest rate for a period of ten years. “Everything depends on the state of the country’s balance of payments and the arrangements Belarus and the IMF will make,” said the head of Belarus’ central bank.

The discussion during the government conference held by the head of state focused on a number of sensitive matters and the need to protect socially vulnerable population strata. Utility rates are the first stumbling block. “Negotiations with the IMF take into account all the instructions of the head of state as much as possible. Literally tomorrow the Belarusian delegation will leave the country to partake in the IMF annual meetings [with the World Bank Group] where consultations on the program will be continued,” said Pavel Kallaur.

BelTA reported earlier that during the government conference Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko noted that it had been suggested that he should write a letter to IMF head Christine Lagarde. Sending such a letter would run contrary to the promises given to the nation. “It would be demeaning not only for me. It would be demeaning for our nation,” stated the Belarusian leader.

Pavel Kallaur explained that in line with IMF rules a country willing to get money is supposed to send the relevant letter of intent to the IMF. A memorandum specifying concrete macroeconomic actions is supposed to be attached to the letter of intent. “There is no doubt that taking into account today’s government conference held by the head of state and the consultations in Washington we are going to adjust the letter taking into account our national interests. If necessary, we will send it to the IMF. We will adjust the content of the letter by holding consultations with top IMF officials in Washington first and then inside the country.”

The head of Belarus’ central bank also noted that an IMF mission had finished another stage of the negotiation process. After the consultations in Washington further contacts on the new credit program will continue by means of video conferences or personal meetings.

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