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IMF Keeping Belarus Office But Won't Replace Representative

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is not closing its permanent office in Belarus -- but will not name a replacement for its representative to Minsk, who is leaving soon.

The IMF said in a statement that its current representative, Natalia Koliadina, would return to Washington when her three-year term expires in early April.

However, it said that in the meantime it will keep the Minsk office open "with local staff.”

The IMF said it plans to remain engaged in Belarus "in the context of monthly post- program monitoring and annual surveillance missions."

Belarusian officials say they are still seeking fresh IMF loans to refinance debt from Belarus's previous IMF program, which starts falling due this year.

Belarus must repay about $3.6 billion to the Fund during 2012-2014.

Compiled from agency reports

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