IMF Refuses To Allocate $940 Million To Belarus Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The Belarusian authorities and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) didn’t agree on the allocation of financial support in the amount of up to $900 million due to the worsening global economic situation and the new coronavirus pandemic, TASS reports.

In March, Belarus requested the fund to discuss the possible provision of emergency assistance, but no agreement was reached. We have not found ways to overcome significant differences on the appropriate response to the current difficulties,” said the IMF spokesman Gerry Rice at a press briefing.

The IMF representative explained that it was about a Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), within which the fund provides financial assistance to countries affected by the consequences of the pandemic.

“This [financial] mechanism does not contain any stringent conditions <…>, but [its use] requires safeguards of transparency and appropriate policy measures to ensure that funds are used to combat the pandemic and promote economic stability,” he said.

IMF: What Will Happen To Belarus’ Economy After Pandemic Is Over

Safeguards mean “measures to contain the pandemic in accordance with the WHO recommendations, which is the standard [IMF] procedure for all countries” Rice said.

Recall that in March, the Belarusian authorities, the National Bank of Belarus and the IMF discussed the allocation of financial support in the amount of up to $940 million in connection with the consequences of the pandemic.

In June, Alexander Lukashenko said that the IMF continued to demand that Belarus introduce “quarantine, isolation, curfew” to receive a loan. He then stressed that the additional lending conditionalities, which do not relate to the financial part, imposed on the country were unacceptable.