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Russia approves $1 billion loan for Belarus

The Russian Cabinet has approved a draft agreement on a $1 billion loan for Belarus. This was stated in an order signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Thursday, December 17.

Moscow will provide the loan to Minsk in two $500-million tranches in 2020 and 2021.

During a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi in September, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to issue a $1.5 billion loan to Belarus.

Later, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov explained that Belarus would receive a $1 billion from Russia and an additional $500 million from the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD).

Minsk received the loan from the EFSD in October. Siluanov said that Belarus will use this money to fully pay off its debt to Gazprom for gas supplies, which amounts to more than $300 million.

In mid-December, Lukashenko said that Belarus had paid Gazprom $200 million through the loan from the EFSD. 

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