Meeting with Finance Minister Vladimir Amarin

    It is inadmissible to take interstate loans with a 7-8% interest rate and is needed to minimize interest rates on foreign loans, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he heard out a report from Finance Minister Vladimir Amarin on 9 November.

    The President pointed out the need to prevent increasing the foreign state debt and demanded to optimize it. First of all, it is necessary to minimize interest rates on foreign loans, especially this pertains to the loans which will be obtained in 2016. The optimization, in turn, should be aimed at searching new internal sources for the fulfillment of obligations. These are budget revenues and the internal financial market.

    The head of state asked about the size of the state debt and the prospects of repaying it. Aleksandr Lukashenko focused on the following year because, in his words, this year the situation is clear. “I think the situation will improve in the future,” he said.

    Speaking about loans, the President remarked that he has been recently asked to approve interstate loans with a 7-8% interest rate. Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that such loans which can be repaid by tapping into the gold and foreign exchange reserves are inadmissible for the state; therefore, he rejects such documents. “It is normal when commercial loans have an interest rate of 7-8%. But I think it is inadmissible to tap into the gold and foreign exchange reserves to repay such expensive loans,” the President said.

    Curbing inflation is a priority, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    The President was informed that the 2015 budget will be implemented in the targeted parameters, all obligations, first of all, social obligations, will be fulfilled. Aleksandr Lukashenko focused on the level of inflation in the country. At present this figure does not exceed 10% (
    From the level of December 2014).

    The head of state stressed that there are objective reasons why Belarus cannot have a high level of inflation. “Let it be a single-digit figure. Then people will understand that we will reduce inflation next year, even if it will be difficult to implement the budget. The reduction of inflation is a priority,” he said.

    The 2016 draft budget has been formed. It has been considered and approved by the government. The draft budget a package of documents regarding the social and economic development will be submitted to the head of state in the near future.