Although the political relations between Russia and Belarus cooled off recently, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry still expects to be given by the Russian government a third portion of the state loan worth $40mln.
“Interfax” quotes the Minister of finance of Belarus Nikolai Korbut as saying that the funds are due to be transferred to the country “by late August-early September at the latest”. “We have already signed agreement on our part and in the near future the document will be forwarded to the Russians,” – said Korbut. In his opinion, they plan to use these funds as one of the sources to compensate the state budget deficit in Belarus.
As is known, Belarus is preparing a decision to augment the budget deficit by 90bln rubles or $48,8mln. Therefore, the Russian credit will enable them to make up for 82% of the budget deficit, which was again formed in Belarus, and pursue the “socially oriented market policy”.
In compliance with the intergovernmental agreement, signed in late 2000, Belarus was provided with a credit line of $100mln. The first $30mln part of the funds was received by the country on August 17, 2001, while the second – also $30mln – on December 29, 2001. Therefore, $60mln has already been spent and the Belarusian Finance Ministry is impatiently waiting for the remainder $40mln. Otherwise, they would have to switch on the emission mechanism.
Thanks to the Russian credits, donated by both Russian government and Central Bank, the Belarusian National Bank continues to accumulate its foreign currency reserves, enabling it to control the situation at the country’s currency market.
The National Bank, just like the Ministry of finance, is hoping to get its third $30mln loan from its creditor – Russian Central Bank. Two first loans have been used before, while the deadline for returning the first one was prolonged by another year from failure to pay it back on time.
Thus, Belarus is gradually getting dependent on Russia financially with all the ensuing consequences: it is easier to have business with the debtor, having $200mln as arguments. Sad as it sounds, over the period of relative stabilization, the country’s economy hasn’t experienced any strategic changes. In fact, these means had been wasted in vain, for as soon as Russia changes her mind and ceases crediting the Belarusian currency reserves and budget deficit, the “effective” Belarusian model will have only one economic leverage left – “money-printing machine”.
Meantime, the accumulated foreign assets of the Belarusian commercial banks start falling. In July they contracted by 23,1% and constituted $107,6mln.