Belarus seeks IMF loan

Empty shelves at a shop in Minsk Shops in the capital Minsk lie empty as Belarus faces its biggest crisis since the Soviet collapse

Belarus has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an emergency loan of up to $8bn (£5bn; 5.6bn euros).

It comes a day after the government announced it was raising its main interest rate from 14% to 16%, and that it was freezing prices on a number of staple foods until 1 July.

Last week Belarus cut the value of the rouble against the US dollar by 36%.

The country faces high inflation and its most severe financial crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich said the IMF programme could last for three to five years.

Stanislav Bogdankevich, former head of the National Bank, said: "This is an SOS signal from the Belarussian government, which is losing control of the situation."

Belarus has also asked Russia for a direct loan. Moscow initially rejected the plea last month but said that it and several other ex-Soviet republics could still give it some joint regional assistance.

A decision is expected later this week.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

Features

  • Baby being handed overFraught world

    The legal confusion over UK surrogate births


  • Bad resultsBlame game

    The best excuses to use when exam results don't make the grade


  • Police respond to a shooting in Santa MonicaTrigger decision

    What really happens before a police officer fires his gun?


  • Child injured by what activists say were two air strikes in the north-eastern Damascus suburb of Douma (3 August 2014)'No-one cares'

    Hope fades for Syrians one year after chemical attack


  • Lady AlbaGoing Gaga Watch

    Social media's use ahead of the independence referendum


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.