The Belarusian government has asked Moscow to refinance $600 million in state debts owed to Russia in 2021, according to the Russian news agency Interfax, citing an anonymous source familiar with the negotiations.
Later this week, says Intefax’s source, the two countries’ prime ministers will discuss refinancing the Belarusian debt.
On August 27, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced that he’d reached an agreement with Vladimir Putin to refinance $1 billion previously loaned to Minsk. “Meaning, we agreed with Russia that we’ll keep this billion dollars and it will be a good way to shore up our national currency,” Lukashenko explained at the time.
Russia is considered the Belarusian government’s primary foreign lender. Based on data from the end of the first quarter of 2020, 48 percent of Belarusian foreign state debt ($7.92 billion) was owed to Russia. Since 2008, according to estimates by the news outlet RBC, the Russian government and the state development corporation VEB.RF have made at least eight loans to the Belarusian government.