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IMF Rebuffs Belarus Loan Request

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that Belarus's leaders need to commit more strongly to economic reforms before it lends the country money.

The IMF said in a statement released on March 5 that the government and central bank had made progress over the past few months "on bringing down inflation."

But the statement said Minsk was not yet ready to begin talks on financial support.

The IMF said Belarus needed "a consistent package to restore stability and to embark on the path of deep structural reform."

It said the new program requires "an agreement among all policy makers."

The European Union carries a huge weight in the IMF, and relations between the EU and Belarus have grown increasingly strained recently.

With AFP reporting