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Belarusian leader pledges there will be no sudden devaluation of national currency

May 10, 2014, 0:35 UTC+3 MINSK

According to Lukashenko, the country’s current gold and currency reserves amounted to five billion U.S. dollars

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MINSK, May 09, 23:39 /ITAR-TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has pledged there will be no sudden devaluation of the national currency.

“I repeat once again what I have always been saying: devaluations, meltdowns, wars, conflicts - all depend only on us. If you don’t want it, it will never happen in Belarus, you can take it from me,” Lukashenko told journalists on Friday.

Ten to twenty percent devaluation is beneficial for exporters but it is “a gulp of air for a time being,” he said, adding that such devaluation might hit the population severely.

He said that the Belarusian authorities were not exerting all their strength to keep the exchange rate in check but were conducting a smooth devaluation of the national currency. “We have devaluated our currency unit by seven to eight percent since the beginning of the year, and did it smoothly, cautiously, without fuss,” he noted.

According to the Belarusian leader, the country’s current gold and currency reserves amounted to five billion U.S. dollars. Moreover, he said, the country was to receive a Russian stabilization loan that would be credited to the gold and currency reserve. “We want the people to see that we do have money. Should it be necessary to support the national currency, we shall do it,” he said, adding that nothing disastrous would happen if the country’s authorities devaluated the currency by five to seven percent more by the end of the year.

Apart from that, Lukashenko said that the situation in Belarus’ foreign trade was improving. “Signs of improvement are visible in the global economy and especially in our economy,” he said citing as an example the situation at such automotive giants as the Minsk Tractor Plant (MTZ) and BelAZ.

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