Belarus is preparing for new loans
According to the Finance Ministry, on March 31st, Belarus repaid USD 75.9 million to the IMF – the last part of the loan. Having fulfilled all her obligations vis-a-vis the IMF, Belarus gained a positive prospect for new borrowings from international lending institutions. Belarus is unlikely to sign a new programme with the IMF before elections, however she will continue to cooperate with the EurAsEC ACF, will use Chinese loans for industrial modernisation, and will appeal to international creditors to refinance the Eurobond issue maturing in 2015. If there is no sufficient funding from Russia, Belarus might embark on reforming the economy, which will give a start to a new program of cooperation with the IMF in 2016.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.