According to the newly elected President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Russia will financially support his country during this difficult time related to the protests following the presidential elections. However, Russia may introduce restrictive lending rules that will prevent financing of the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. This is reported by Biznes Alert.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin confirmed the words of his Belarusian counterpart that Russia will provide military support to Minsk in case “things get out of control.” Meanwhile, Belarusians are rallying against what they consider to be a falsification of the presidential elections and demand new ones.
Lukashenko announced that Russia will refinance Belarus’ debt of one billion dollars. The press service of the Russian Ministry of Finance said that this issue will be analyzed in accordance with the instructions of the government.
The Ministry of Finance, meanwhile, has prepared new rules for the provision of foreign loans as part of the revision of the budget policy. The Russians want to “create a positive image of the Russian Federation as a responsible international creditor and donor.” Thus, under the new rules, credit from the Russian Federation may not receive countries in a state of military conflict; the subject of UN sanctions; bankrupt countries, etc.
According to RBC, Armenia, Belarus, Cuba, and Venezuela may stop receiving Russian monetary assistance – the financial situation in these countries meets some of the above criteria. However, Russia reserves the right to make exceptions “given the strategic nature of the Russian Federation’s political relations with the creditor country.”
The Kremlin has so far provided financial support to Belarus, including giving Rosatom loans for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Astravets. Since 2008, the RB has provided eight state and bank loans for this. As of March 2020, Minsk owed Moscow about $7.5 billion. $0.44 billion VEB Bank for the construction of the Astravets nuclear power plant.
Lukashenko is counting on Putin’s help, but Belarus already owes Russia a lot for the construction of the nuclear facility. Russia can make an exception to its financial rules and provide Minsk with new loans, but then Batka can say goodbye to the Belarusian nuclear power plant.