Russia to allocate USD 110 million to restructure external debt of Belarus
The Russian government has approved a draft in Russian roubles equivalent of USD 110 million. Funds will be provided for a 10-year period with a 4-year grace period. The loan will mean a timeout for Belarus: she will partially refinance current debt to Russia and slow down the reduction in gold reserves, but her bonds will become slightly less profitable. The Belarusian government will continue negotiations with other creditors to refinance debt on new terms. The loan is minimal and was meant to reduce Belarus’ appetites for financial aid. In addition, Russia by this increased pressure on Belarus to end confiscation practices at the Belarusian border with regard to transit goods by Russian companies.
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.