Russia Ensures 22 Trillion Loans For Belarus Liquid By End of Year
, Jakarta - The Russian government has promised that loan assistance worth US $ 1.5 billion (Rp22 trillion) for Belarus will be disbursed as soon as possible. The target is, at the latest, US $ 1 billion will be disbursed by the end of 2020. The rest, in 2021, according to the Minister of Finance of Russia, Anton Siluanov.
"With this loan, Moscow will stabilize the finances of our (Belarus) partner," said Siluanov, quoted by Reuters news agency, Thursday, September 17, 2020.
For repayment of the loan, it is set to start from next year. This refers to a request by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko when he visited Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin.
Although repayment is set to start in 2021, the tenor of the loan itself has yet to be determined. Siluanov estimates that the tenor is likely to be up to 10 years taking into account the income, expenses and debt on behalf of Belarus.
Belarus is noted to have external debt of US $ 18 billion. Half of that figure comes from Russia. According to the rating agency Moody, the situation in Belarus that is heating up after the presidential election does not give confidence that Belarus will be able to control its finances.
As previously reported, Belarus fell into a crisis period after the presidential election in early August. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who won the presidential election for the sixth time, is suspected of cheating by citizens and the opposition.
Since then, residents have taken to the streets to protest against Alexander Lukashenko's victory. They pressed for re-election. Alexander Lukashenko refused and responded to the pressure by arresting the demonstrators. In addition, Alexander Lukashenko also asked for Russian help to control the situation in Belarus , including defense assistance.
ISTMAN MP | REUTERS