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Belarus pays $84.1m off IMF standby loan principal debt

MINSK, 23 January (BelTA) – Honoring its obligation to repay a standby loan taken from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Belarus has transferred 54.7 million SDR as the next installment to repay the principal debt, or the equivalent of $84.1 million, representatives of the Belarusian Finance Ministry told BelTA.

It was the seventh installment to repay the principal debt of the IMF standby loan. Five of the installments to the tune of 303.5 million SDR (the equivalent of $465.2 million) were transferred in 2012. The transfer carried out on 23 January was the second repayment of the principal debt this year. The previous time, on 14 January 2013, Belarus paid 64.7 million SDR or $99 million. The next installment will be transferred in February 2013.

In 2011 Belarus paid only the interest rate of the standby loan to the tune of 54.7 million SDR. The repayment of the loan will peak in 2013.

In late 2008 the Belarusian government contacted the International Monetary Fund with a request to sign a standby loan agreement. As a result, on 12 January 2009 the IMF authorized a 15-month program to allocate about $2.46 billion to Belarus. After the first review the sum was raised up to $3.46 billion following the relevant request of the Belarusian side. The program ended in April 2010. It ensured positive dynamics of several indicators of the economy and the monetary management sphere of Belarus.

IMF operation in Belarus is aimed at cooperation with the government and the National Bank in preparing economic policy documents, focusing on taxation, budgeting, monetary management, exchange rate, and trade policy for the sake of achieving considerable economic growth, low inflation and a stable balance of payments.

In 1992-2008 Belarus tapped into IMF resources twice: $217.2 million from the Systemic Transformation Facility and $77.4 million via the standby lending mechanism. In February 2005 Belarus fully paid out these loans.

The International Monetary Fund is a specialized UN institution headquartered in Washington, USA. 27 December 1945 is the IMF’s official foundation date. Belarus has been an IMF member since 1992. The country’s quota stood at 386.4 million SDR ($542.1 million) at the beginning of 2013.