News / Europe

Belarus Asks IMF for Rescue Loan of Up to $8 Billion

Belarus is requesting a new economic rescue loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it cope with a deepening financial crisis.

Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich said Wednesday the government has asked for an IMF loan between $3.5 billion and $8 billion for the next three to five years.

Belarus last received an IMF loan of $3.5 billion for 2009 and 2010, when the global financial crisis was hurting its Soviet-style economy. Since then, the country's economic situation has worsened, with rising inflation and panic buying of consumer goods.

President Alexander Lukashenko's government has taken several steps to deal with the crisis in recent days.  It froze prices of some basic foods Tuesday, saying the controls would remain in place until July 1.

Minsk also devalued the Belarusian ruble by more than a third last week.  Many Belarusians have since been lining up at currency exchange offices, hoping to protect their savings by converting their rubles into euros or dollars.

It is not clear what conditions the IMF may impose on any new loans to Belarus.  Some analysts say Lukashenko is running out of options to keep the economy afloat.

Belarus has asked its traditional ally Russia for a direct loan, but Moscow has resisted, saying it may agree to fund a joint bailout package with other former Soviet republics by the end of this week.

Moscow has said that in return for any bailout, Minsk must sell off key state assets, a move that could enable Russian companies to take over large parts of the Belarusian economy.  Lukashenko has expressed reluctance to sell his country's most important enterprises at the prices suggested by Russia.

The crisis is one of the most serious Lukashenko has faced in his nearly 17-year rule.  His government also is under sanctions from the European Union and the United States, which have criticized him for cracking down on the opposition after his disputed re-election last December.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid