Growth of external debt
Gross foreign debt of Belarus on 1 April 2011 reached USD 31711.8 million, increasing by USD 3221.2 million (11.3%) from the beginning of the year. External debt of public administration grew by USD 939.7 million (9.3%) to USD 10997.6 million.
Foreign debt of the monetary institutions amounted to USD 1713.5 million, decreasing in the first quarter by USD 141.8 million (7.6%). Debt of commercial banks increased by USD 1080.5 million (18.8%) to USD 6832.6 million. External debt of other sectors amounted to USD 11309.9 million, increasing by USD 1310.3 million (13.1%).
Direct investment increased by USD 32.5 million (3.9%) to USD 858.2 million.
External debt is growing and will grow, creating an issue for the government regarding debt management. In 2011 debt repayment were not particularly heavy however in 2012 debt service will exceed $ 2 billion. Accordingly, the authorities have two options: continue building a financial pyramid where the repayment of old debts comes from new ones or start privatization of strategic assets.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.