Belarus to Receive Third Tranche of EurAsEc Bailout Loan

The EurAsEc, a regional economic grouping of ex-Soviet republics led by Russia, has approved the disbursement of a third tranche of a bailout loan to Belarus, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Belarus expects to receive the third tranche of the emergency $3-billion loan from the EurAsEC by the end of 2012 on condition that the country would implement a package of measures to restore its soured economy.

“A decision has been made to disburse the third tranche from the EurAsEc anti-crisis fund [to Belarus],” Putin said on Thursday after talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk.

“We will also start talks on the fourth tranche,” he added.

The Belarusian ruble collapsed in the beginning of 2011 as the result of a large trade deficit, generous wage increases and loans granted by the government ahead of the December 2010 presidential elections, which spurred strong demand for foreign currency.

EurAsEc approved the disbursement of a $3-billion stabilization loan for Belarus to help the Eastern European country tackle its currency problems and transferred the first $800 million tranche in June 2011.

The second tranche, worth $440 million, was disbursed in December last year. Belarus expected to receive the third tranche, also worth $440 million, in February.

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