Belarus-IMF talks stall?

Belarus-IMF talks stall?


Negotiations on the granting of an IMF loan to Belarus are "suspended" to a certain extent, Deputy Finance Minister Yury Seliverstov told journalists.

According to him, Belarus and the IMF could not come to an agreement on the speed of reforms. At the same time, the country did not need to conduct active negotiations, because Belarus received money from the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development.

MORE: What could IMF loan mean for Belarus?

At the same time, Seliverstov noted that the negotiation process with the IMF is proceeding smoothly. Most of the requirements from the IMF have been met, but there is still no agreement on individual items, and in this regard, this work is a little suspended.

The key point on which the sides have not been able to reach an agreement was the housing and utilities sector.

One of the requirements of the IMF was to bring the price for housing and utilities services to a level of their full cost. For now Belarusians don’t pay 100% of the cost of utilities, the rest being subsidized by the state, including through the so-called cross-subsidies. Heating is the most subsidized item when it comes to utility prices.

In the summer of 2017, the negotiation process between Belarus and the IMF paused. The next program of cooperation was being discussed, which presumed a loan of about $3 billion at 2.28% for a period of ten years.

At the same time, IMF representative William Murray said negotiations on the loan to Belarus were suspended. 

The IMF said that they want to get more information from the Belarusian authorities on how exactly the reforms will be carried out.