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Belarus to negotiate new loan with IMF soon – National Bank

September 18, 2011, 2:46 UTC+3

According to Chairman of Belarus’ National Bank, it is a sum of 5-8 billion dollars

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MINSK, September 18 (Itar-Tass) —— in late October Belarus will begin negotiations with the International Monetary Fund /IMF/ on allocation of a new credit, Chairman of Belarus’ National Bank Nadezhda Ermakova told the TV audience on Saturday.

"By the end of October the National Bank will begin additional negotiations on a new loan," she said. According to her, it is a sum of 5-8 billion dollars.

The head of the National Bank pointed out that a lot will depend on how the actions of the Belarusian authorities to stabilise the economic situation will be evaluated. The IMF reacted positively to use of the republic’s currency free exchange rate, she said. At the same time, Ermakova believes that the main thing is implementation of structural reforms in the economy. With regard to the requirements of the IMF about tightening of fiscal policies, including freeze of wage growth, she said that the issue was not unambiguous. If we have "to change seriously the exchange rate of the currency" in the rising inflation, we shall have to index wages, however, the increase "should be earned."

Ermakova also reported that if Belarus receives the one billion dollar loan from Sberbank for Belaruskali /Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Rumas had reported there was an agreement with Sberbank/, it will be enrolled in the foreign exchange reserves of the country.

"Funds will not go to expenses," she said.

Ermakova reported that in August the gold and currency reserves of the republic had grown - from Azerbaijan’s loan of 300 million dollars - and now they make 4.604 billion dollars.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich also said that Belarus will not abandon the new cooperation program with the IMF and will continue talks on granting a new credit. According to him, there are all good reasons for it. He noted that Belarus "follows all undertaken commitments," therefore, if the issue of granting loans "will not be politicised from that side /IMF/, then we can count on the program."

Meanwhile, Myasnikovich noted that generally speaking Belarus can solve problems in the economy even without the new loans from the IMF and added as saying that "it is not critical lending."

Earlier, it was reported that the IMF plans to send another mission to Minsk to continue the dialogue with the Belarusian authorities. The mission may work from 5 to 17 October.



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