Belarus expects to get $3 bln loan from Russia within 30 days - National Bank

Belarus expects to receive a $3 billion loan from Russia within the next 20 to 30 days to meet its financing needs and replenish its depleted foreign currency reserves, the republic's National Bank said on Thursday.

Belarus had earlier requested a $2 billion loan from the anti-crisis fund set up by the post-Soviet economic bloc, the Eurasian Economic Community, and a $1 billion loan from Russia. Experts polled by RIA Novosti say the ex-Soviet republic needs foreign loans to prop up the national currency and avoid a sharp devaluation.

"The National Bank Board has decided to refrain for the period of 20-30 days, until the receipt of the Russian government loan, from any decisions on the bank's exchange rate, foreign currency and monetary policy," the Belarusian news agency Belta quoted the National Bank of Belarus as saying in a statement.

The National Bank of Belarus on Monday widened the corridor for national currency exchange operations on the over-the-counter market to 10% from the previous 0-2% range. The Belarusian monetary regulator also stopped selling foreign currency to commercial banks for resale to the public.

The National Bank of Belarus has said its latest moves are intended to stimulate exports and an inflow of foreign currency into the country.

MINSK, March 31 (RIA Novosti)


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