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IMF Urges Austerity On Loan-Seeking Belarus


Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich

Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged greater austerity for Belarus, including freezing wages and allowing the national currency to float freely, to justify the emergency financing of billions of dollars.

Belarus wants up to $8 billion from the Fund to help it cope with a crisis that has forced a 36 percent devaluation of the local currency, the ruble.

Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich declared on June 13 that Belarus as a full member of the IMF ought to be able to count on Fund support "in a difficult moment."

But at a subsequent news conference IMF mission chief Chris Jarvis gave only lukewarm support for Minsk's anticrisis policies.

Belarus expects to receive $1.2 billion in loans from a Russia-led bailout fund this year.

Reuters

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