Russia allocated additional loans for Belarus’ economy
Under the agreement, Belarus will receive USD 500 mln for 8 years to construct the nuclear power plant and BelAZ will receive USD 75 mln funding for current operations. These loans are long-term, enabling to reduce the demand for foreign currency in 2014. Budgetary funds, which have already been spent on the NPP construction, will be reimbursed from the loan. The freed budgetary resources may be used to support other economic sectors. The loan’s terms do not envisage any repayments within the next four years. BelAZ and other organizations involved in the construction of the nuclear power plant will be able to reduce their current and overdue debts.
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.