Belarus to Receive Third Part of $3 Billion Loan, Putin Says

The Russia-led Eurasian Economic Community anti-crisis fund will disburse the third portion of its $3 billion bailout loan to Belarus, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after talks with Alexander Lukashenko at the Belarus president’s residence near Minsk today.

Belarus received two tranches of the loan totaling $1.2 billion last year. The former Soviet republic pledged to raise at least $7.5 billion from asset sales over three years as one of the conditions for receiving the loan.

Putin didn’t specify the amount of money being disbursed, although Interfax reported May 17 that Belarus expected $440 million, citing Belarus Finance Minister Andrei Kharkovets. Putin said that negotiations have started about the fourth portion.

Russia and Belarus also reached an agreement to begin financing the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus, Putin said.

Russia will give Belarus $200 million for the first stage of construction, Interfax reported, citing Sergei Kiriyenko, chief executive officer of Rosatom Corp.

Russia and Belarus plan to oppose sanctions and intervention in their internal affairs together, Putin and Lukashenko said in a statement.

Putin and Lukashenko will oppose sanctions against the United State of Russia and Belarus, an economic alliance between the two states, as well as the United Economic Space, an economic alliance between Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus, according to the statement.

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