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Belarus Reserves Shrank in April for First Drop in 6 Months

Belarus’s international reserves dropped in April for the first time in six months as the former Soviet republic tapped the stockpile to service its liabilities denominated in foreign currency.

The gold and foreign-currency holdings shrank 1.6 percent to $7.96 billion last month, the central bank in the capital, Minsk, said in a statement published on its website today, citing calculations under International Monetary Fund standards.

“The decline in gold and currency reserves was influenced by the government and the Natsionalnyi Bank Respubliki Belarus covering its external and internal liabilities in foreign currency,” the regulator said in the statement.

Belarus wants to maintain the reserves at between $6.1 billion and $7 billion by the beginning of 2013, according to monetary policy guidelines approved by President Aleksandr Lukashenko and published on the central bank’s website.

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