22 January 2018, Monday, 1:35

Lukashenka lies about absence of devaluation


The Belarusian ruble fell more than 20% against the euro in the past year.

Former chief of the National Bank Stanislau Bahdankevich said it in an interview with charter97.org.

– The EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund took a decision to postpone the deadline for the sixth tranche of the loan until October 1. How much do the Belarusian authorities need it in the current economic situation? Can they survive without this money?

– I think they can. The reserves increased by one billion dollars due to money from Russia in the form of Vnesheconombank's loan and 450 million dollars of the state loan from Russia. We can wait. The other matter is that the tranche was postponed because Belarus does not fulfil its obligations under the EurAsEC loans.

– One of the conditions to receive the tranche was the implementation of integration projects, in other words, selling five key enterprises, including MAZ, Grodno Azot, Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant, to Russia. In your opinion, can it be so that the delay of the sixth tranche is an attempt to press on the Belarusian leadership and Lukashenka?

– Dvorkovich has lately visited Belarus. It was decided that MAZ and KamAZ will merger. I think pressure to privatise big enterprises haven't stopped. Some of planned projects are being fulfilled, but we still have problems relating to the prevention of the growth of real loan debt of Belarus's economy to banks. The country's production does not grow, but money supply does. We see the devaluation of the national currency. Lukashenka lies that we don't have it. Actually, the devaluation against the euro was more than 20% in the past year, from July 2013 to July 2014. It caused the delay of the sixth tranche of the EurAsEC loan.

– If 440 million dollars are received, can it save the collapsing economy of Belarus?

– No, this and other loans together will solve the issues of preserving Lukashenka's ineffective economic model. The reforms, which should be carried out, will be delayed due to the increase in the external debt. As for gold and foreign currency reserves, the loan won't cause their growth. Belarus recently received a $2 billion loan, but only a billion was spend on the reserves. The country has to pay other debts, so the forex reserves won't grow.