Russian PM: First ‘irreversible’ integration, then loans

Russia will continue lending support to Belarus only when all integration road maps are implemented, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.

As almost all the road maps have been agreed upon, the sides might carry them forward, Medvedev stressed. According to him, only one roadmap which refers to the establishment of supranational bodies, the introduction of single currency and single emission centre has not been approved yet.

‘Additional forms’ of lending will be possible only if the road rmaps turn into reality and become law, Medvedev said. Then the sides might return to discussing Russia’s compensation for the tax maneuver to Belarus and other issues, he added.

Earlier, Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka announced the Russian premier’s coming to Minsk in December. However, Dmitry Medvedev said he was not going to visit Minsk in the rest of the year. In his opinion, they have a ‘good plan that must be moulded into law, and then it [integration] will become irreversible’.

During the annual news conference held on December 19, Vladimir Putin said Russia subsidized the economy of Belarus to its own cost; he also stated that Moscow would continue doing so only if the issue of further forming the Union State was settled.

This year, Russia has reduced lending to Minsk. For example, the Belarusian Ministry of Finance expected to attract $200 million of the last tranche from the fund of the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development, as well as $600 million from the Russian government. But in the end, the Kremlin decided not to give money. In response, Alyaksandr Lukashenka even said that he had forbidden minister Maksim Yermalovich to take money from Russia.

Eurasian Fund to withhold $200 mln loan without integration with Russia, following TASS