Russian State to Use $450M of Budget Funds for $2Bln Belarus Loan – Minister

GORKI (Moscow Region), December 26 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian government will allocate $450 million from its 2014 budget as part of a $2 billion loan to Belarus announced Wednesday by President Vladimir Putin, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Thursday.

“We agreed at a government meeting today that an intergovernmental loan to the amount of $450 million will be extended to Belarus next year following the adjustment of the federal budget,” Siluanov said.

The loan will be granted for 10 years at 4-percent annual interest, Siluanov said.

Siluanov did not specify the sources of financing for the rest of the loan, but reiterated that no money for it would be taken from Russia’s National Welfare Fund, an off-budget reserve of accumulated oil and gas revenue.

Russia and its close ally Belarus are formally a Union State, and are also part of the Customs Union along with Kazakhstan.

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