Russian governmental loan to refinance VTB-bank loan
Belarus’ Council of Ministers adopted a decree (No 339, April 10th, 2014) which approved the procedures for an intergovernmental loan from Russia amounting to USD 450 million with a ten-year repay period at 4% per annum. This loan implies that Belarus failed to find other funding sources (privatisation, foreign trade) to service its public debt and to replenish its international reserves. This loan would refinance the USD 440 mln VTB bank loan, raised in December 2013 for six months. Belarus also anticipates new loans from Russia’s commercial banks.
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.