Belarus hopeful about Moscow loan

Belarusian officials discussing a $1 billion loan from Russia are optimistic following a round of talks, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Rumas said on Friday.

In a bid to stave off a sharp devaluation of the national currency, Belarus requested a $1 billion loan from the Russian government and a $2 billion loan from the anti-crisis fund of the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec), an economic grouping of ex-Soviet states.

"The negotiators returned with optimism," Rumas said. "I think everything will be fine."

The country's gold and currency reserves fell 20% in the first two months of the year, reaching $4.02 billion in late February, the Belarusian Central Bank said on its website. On March 22, the Central Bank restricted sales of foreign currency to banks.

MINSK, March 25 (RIA Novosti)


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