Russia is once again extending a financial helping hand to self-proclaimed president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.
In the next two years, Minsk will be able to not pay Russia $906 million in installments for the loan provided for the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. According to Interfax, the relevant protocol was ratified by the Russian Federation Council.
Under the new terms, Minsk's payments to Russia will be reduced by 3.5 times, to 370.8 million dollars.
The Belarusian government is allowed to repay the deferred amount over 14 years, from 2023 to 2037.
At the same time, the Kremlin will simply give part of the loan to Lukashenko by lowering the interest rate.
"The total amount of revenue to the federal budget under the agreement will be reduced by $19.3 million to $7.927 billion," reads the protocol’s addendum.
The loan restructuring agreement was signed last summer. Belarus ratified it at the end of October, and Russian ratification took place three weeks after Lukashenko's visit to Sochi.
According to Kommersant, the Belarusian president intended to ask Vladimir Putin for a new loan of $3 billion in addition to the funds already allocated to the Belarusian nuclear power plant.
Moscow, according to Kommersant’s sources, is ready to give Minsk up to $3.5 billion dollars, provided that Lukashenko launches the Constitutional reform and expands integration with Russia, including preparation for the introduction of the single currency.