Belarus receives $200-million loan tranche from EFSD

Belarus on October 25 received the fifth, $200-million tranche of a $2-billion loan from the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD), reported the press office of the finance ministry.

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The EFSD Board approved the disbursement of the tranche on October 13, but decided to delay it until the Belarusian government had fulfilled two conditions. In particular, it was necessary to issue a presidential directive ordering that control over at least 20 state enterprises be transferred from the central government to local governments, and add the enactment of a bankruptcy (insolvency) law to the list of requirements for obtaining the seventh loan tranche.

Belarus formally requested financial assistance from the EFSD in March 2015. The government initially wanted to borrow $3 billion from the Russian-controlled fund, but the requested amount was later reduced to $2 billion. The EFSD Board delayed a decision on the loan request for months, warning that Minsk had to display its commitment to economic reform.

The country received the first tranche of the loan, $500 million, in March 2016, the second tranche, $300 million, in July 2016, the third tranche, $300 million, in April 2017 and the fourth, $300-million tranche in June.