Belarus has asked for a two-billion-dollar credit from the International Monetary Fund to maintain stability and economic development in the country, the Central Bank of the republic said.
Other countries, with Iceland, Ukraine and Serbia among them, have also addressed the IMF recently against the background of the global financial crisis.
“There is nothing surprising about the fact that the National Bank of Belarus began to take preventive measures to ensure the economic security and maintain the speed of its development as the financial crisis has seriously affected the economies of neighboring states,” an official spokesman for the Bank of Belarus, Anatoli Drozdov told Interfax.
Minsk also considers an opportunity to attract loans from commercial banks and foreign governments. “The goal of these loans is to ensure the economic security,” Drozdov said.
Belarus raised a 270-million-dollar loan from the IMF in the 1990s. Afterwards, the fund denied any further assistance to the country because the Belarussian authorities refused to conduct IMF-recommended market reforms.
The Belarussian authorities said in the beginning of the new century that they did not want to receive any assistance from the IMF.
The state still keeps the predominant position in the economy of Belarus. The government has recently made another delay in selective privatization plans. The government has also raised the inflation rate forecast up to 14 percent this year.
The nation’s gold and currency reserves decreased by approximately $500 million in September and are currently evaluated between 4.1 and 4.9 billion dollars. The reserves cover about 40 percent of the nation’s foreign debt, Reuters said.
Last week the European Union made a decision to lift the ban prohibiting Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and other high-ranking officials from entering EU countries. Nevertheless, five Belarussian officials, including the head of the nation’s Central Electoral Committee, are still barred from entering Europe. To crown it all, Western observers concluded that the recent elections in the country did not meet international standards.
In the meantime, Alexander Lukashenko has recently participated in Autumn-2008 military exercise with his five-year-old illegitimate son Nikolai. Nikolai Lukashenko was wearing the uniform similar to that on his father – the uniform of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Belarus.
“Nikolai Lukashenko was observing the exercise through his sunglasses and was receiving reports from Belarussian generals together with his father, Svoboda radio station said.
“It gives you an impression of a performance. I remember when he once introduced his son as his successor, who would take his office after him. When I was told that Lukashenko’s son was standing beside him saluting during the parade after the exercise, I was surprised about such absurdity. There is the Commander-in-Chief, but why does he need his son beside him? It has always been a solemn procedure for the military. If I appeared in front of the army with my little son, everyone would think of me as a madman. This is the official procedure to sum up the results of the exercise. The little boy has nothing to do with it. As a general, as a person who dedicated his entire life to the army I am ashamed to see this. I know that the officers who serve in the army today, treat this negatively,” the radio quoted the former Defense Minister of Belarus, Pavel Kozlovsky as saying.
Lukashenko has been spotted in a company of his son on a number of occasions recently, ForUm reports. Nikolai Lukashenko joined his father for the CIS summit in Bishkek. Lukashenko appeared with his son in front of TV cameras for a volunteer street clean up and for visiting the regions of Belarus that suffered from the Chernobyl disaster. Afterwards, Lukashenko took his son on a trip to Beijing during the Summer Olympics. To crown it all, Alexander Lukashenko voted with his son’s hand during the recent parliamentary elections in Belarus in September.
Lukashenko also has two legitimate sons: his older son, Viktor, is the National Security Adviser to the President of Belarus, whereas his second son, Dmitry, chairs the presidential sports club.