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December 13 – December 19, 2021
Belarus-Russia relations

“To the internal resources and internal reserves”, as well as one large external reserve

The situation has not changed
“To the internal resources and internal reserves”, as well as one large external reserve

Minsk is working on attracting new loans from Russia against the backdrop of sanctions that have cut off the economy from key sources of foreign currency.

Belarus is requesting a serious loan from Russia through the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development totalling USD 3.5 billion. This was announced on December 16 by the first deputy head of the government, Nikolai Snopkov, at a meeting with his boss. According to him, US sanctions against the Belarusian national debt create problems for its refinancing, including foreign currency government borrowings. This amount will help “compensate for the loss of European money” and protect the debt from the influence of Western restrictive measures.

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, in 2022 Minsk will have to repay USD 3.3 million, in 2023 – USD 4.7 billion of external debts along with servicing. Snopkov also stated that due to Western pressure, the country will face a lack of foreign investment, and therefore “almost the only source of development and economic growth is domestic resources and internal reserves.”

Experts predict that the amount of the request from Minsk may be higher. During the next meeting of Lukashenka with Putin, which should be held before the end of this year, he will ask from USD 5 to 7 billion, including re-lending debts of 3 billion, predicts analyst Andrei Suzdaltsev and recalls that the union programs are still completely ignored by Minsk.

Lukashenka, meanwhile, in a recent interview with the Turkish television and radio company TRT said that the new union of Belarus and Russia will take into account all the mistakes of the European Union, as well as leave all the positive from the Soviet Union. “This union will be more advanced and more stable,” he promised.

Sociologists of the Analytical Centre EcooM and their colleagues from the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus shared the results of the joint sociological study “Belarus: opinion on the future”. And the question is “How would you like to see the Union State of Belarus and Russia?”. 40.8% of the polled Belarusians expressed the equal presence of countries in the structure of the Union State. 24.4% of respondents believe that unification is not necessary, but just good and multi-vector relations with other countries are needed. 9.8% of respondents spoke in favour of a single economic space within the framework of the Union State without political unification. For the unification of Belarus and Russia into one state – 6.4% of respondents. For the creation of separate plenipotentiary supranational organizations in the Union State – 4.8%. 13.1% of respondents do not have an opinion on this matter.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of leading Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries to the most topical and relevant issues, including on behind the scenes processes ongoing in Belarus, in Russian and English.
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