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Russia’s $1.5-billion loan to Minsk not enough to save Belarusian economy — opposition

According to Latushko, Belarus needs restructuring its debts and a program of reforms

MINSK, September 16. /TASS/. Russia’s decision to allocate a $1.5-billion loan to Belarus won’t save the country’s economy, member of the presidium of the Belarusian Coordination Council Pavel Latushko said.

"In fact, those money simply change pockets," he said in a video address released via Telegram. "Since the start of the year, Belarus has already owed Russia about 400 million. Besides, we have to repay about 1 billion under the $3.6-billion loan that Russia had earlier granted to us. It might save Belarus from default for a short-term period of one month, in September-October. But it won’t save the Belarusian economy, because a systematic approach is required, as well as non-recurring aid of at least $4 billion."

According to Latushko, Belarus needs restructuring its debts and a program of reforms, which, in his words, the current government has not been capable of drafting.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi on Monday that Moscow will provide a state loan amounting to $1.5 bln to Minsk. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said following the talks that one part of the new loan will be meant for refinancing of previous debts, whereas the other part is new funds.