The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided the first loans to Belarus totaling about €160 million euros.
For business and environment
A sovereign loan of €84 million was provided to Minsk Vodokanal (MVK), the country’s biggest municipal water utility.
This is to finance modern wastewater management systems that will improve the city’s environment, increase energy efficiency and ensure compliance with national and EU standards for effluent treatment quality.
The project is co-financed by a parallel loan of the same amount provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). This is the largest loan in the municipal sector provided by the EBRD in Belarus to date and the first one signed by the EIB.
The EBRD loan was allocated to Belarus for 18 years, the EIB loan – for 31 years. Besides, €75 million were allocated by the EIB to two state-owned banks – Belagroprombank received €50 million and Belarusbank €25 million, respectively.
It is estimated that the funding will cover about 200 small and medium businesses and preserve over 2500 jobs.
In 2019, the bank intends to invest €260 million in Belarus.
“We have some plans for the future. For instance, next year we intend to invest €260 million in Belarus. On average, the size of investments can be up to €200 million a year,” the EIB Vice-President Alexander Stubb said.
Earlier, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko stated that the bank’s investments in Belarus may amount to almost half a billion euros. The bank is going to allocate funds for the reconstruction of the M7 highway from Minsk to the Lithuanian border.
The financing will also cover the border infrastructure at the Kamennyi Log checkpoint as well as the joint projects concerning power engineering and utilities. The EIB is the European Union’s nonprofit long-term lending institution. Its shareholders are the member states of the EU.
The bank uses its financing operations to bring about European integration and social cohesion. The financial institution was represented in every member the CIS, except for Belarus (because of sanctions), Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.