Updated at 18:53,10-09-2021

Siarhei Chaly: Lukashenka already ate latest Russian loan


Statements by the Belarusian authorities about stability in the country's economy are absurd.

Economist Siarhei Chaly said it at the conference “Belarus in Transition. Problems, Challenges and Expectations” that was held in Warsaw on March 5, a charter97.org correspondent reports.

“Objective indexes show that the imbalance in the Belarusian economy resembles the situation in the Ukrainian economy. In 2014, the deficit of current account of balance of payments was slightly more than 11% of GDP. The deficit was 9 at the end of 2013. Figures in Ukraine are almost the same. The situation with Belarus's gold and foreign currency reserves is even worse than in Ukraine. But officials call the economic situation in Ukraine a catastrophe, while the situation in Belarus is called stability and creating conditions for sustainable growth, which is absurd,” the expert said.

The economist added preventing a devaluation costs huge efforts of Lukashenka, who even boasted it at a recent press conference with heads of the Belarusian mass media.

“He said his personal task and a matter of honour was to shame the economists who say the crisis and the devaluation were inevitable. 'You should know how I do it,' he said. I can say how he did it. On December 27, 2013, the country received a $440mn loan. It was not an interstate loan, but a bridge loan from a Russian bank. We've already eaten it. Let me explain what 11% of the current account deficit means. It means that even in favourable conditions, if a $2-2.5bn privatisation programme is successful, the deficit of external financing in 2014 is expected to be 4-4.5bn dollars. It also means that the much advertised but still virtual Russian loan of $2mn, a decision on which can be taken in the middle of the year, will prevent a catastrophe only for six months,” Siarhei Chaly said.