Moscow and Minsk Discuss Belarusian Debt Refinancing

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According to Siluanov, the Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, negotiations are going on at the ministerial level. Earlier, Alexander Lukashenko said that it was about refinancing part of the state debt for $ 1 billion. Russia and Belarus have begun discussing the loan parameters to refinance a part of the Belarusian state debt in the amount of $ 1 billion. “We are negotiating at the level of the finance ministries, and our leaders were also negotiating about this, so now we will work out terms of this loan and its volume at the technical level. We will work with our Belarusian partners on the loan as a whole,” Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, said on Tuesday, 1 September answering the question of whether Belarus has already received a request for debt restructuring. On August 27, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko announced that the prime ministers of the two countries would hold talks on refinancing the Belarusian state debt on the basis of his agreements with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At the same time, Lukashenko clarified that "this is about refinancing one billion dollars from the debt to the Russian Federation this year." “That is, we will keep this billion dollars at home, having agreed with Russia. And it will be a good reinforcement of our national currency,” the Belarusian president explained. Meanwhile, an informed source of Interfax reported on September 1, that Minsk had sent an official application to the Russian government to refinance the state debt to the Russian Federation in 2021, and the amount of Minsk's obligations to the Russian Federation next year is $ 600 million. According to the source, Belarus is asking for refinancing funds for a period of 15 years. The interlocutor of Interfax also said that "this week the issue of refinancing will be discussed at the level of the leaders of the governments of the two countries." State debt of Belarus Payments on the external state debt of Belarus in 2020 amount to about $ 3.6 billion, out of which $ 2 billion has already been paid. As of July 1, the external national debt of Belarus amounted to $ 18 billion, having increased over January-June, taking into account exchange rate differences, by 0.9 billion, or 5.3%. In June, it grew by $ 1.2 billion, or 7.1%. The RF accounts for more than 60% of the external public debt of Belarus.