MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Russia will prolong its state loan worth almost $2 billion to Belarus, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.
"Another financial issue relates to the state financial loan for the Republic of Belarus. We agreed that we’ll help them in this uneasy situation and we’ll actually prolong the existing loan commitments," the Russian premier said, adding this decision was based on Russia’s understanding of partnership relations.
"We have been helping our partners and we'll continue to help them," Medvedev said.
Russia will prolong its state loan to Belarus but the Belarusian authorities "should promptly resolve the problems, which arise in one way or another in trade and economic relations," the Russian premier said.
Medvedev asked First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov to call Belarusian partners and draw their attention to the need to resolve problems existing in bilateral cooperation.
Russia provided a state loan worth almost $2 billion to Belarus in 2014, including $450 million at the start of the year and the remaining $1.5 billion at the yearend.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in late January he was confident that Russia would provide financial assistance to Belarus, if necessary.
"We wouldn’t like to take out more loans. But I have firm commitments with the president and the prime minister [of Russia]. If the situation is very difficult, Russia will come to support us," Lukashenko said.
Belarus has to repay about $4 billion in foreign debt this year and $1.5-1.7 billion next year, Lukashenko said.