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Belarus: IMF Officials Criticize Minsk, Refuse Loans

Minsk, 19 September 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have ended a visit to Belarus with strong criticism of the country's government. IMF mission chief Thomas Richardson said late yesterday that his team and Belarusian authorities disagreed on the "most important" economic measurements, including growth projections, foreign investment, export volumes and inflation.

He said the IMF will not resume loans to Belarus because none of the conditions set forth by the monitoring program earlier this year were met. But he said the IMF is willing to consult with Belarus's national bank and the government of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to help overcome what he called "rampant inflation."

The IMF last offered credits to Belarus in 1995.