RUSSIA TO GRANT BELARUS TWO LOANS

To optimize Belarus’s balance of payments, Russia is to provide Minsk with a $30m loan, Russia’s PM Mikhail Kasyanov said commenting on the results of the meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Russia-Belarus Union. In his words, an inter-government agreement was signed after the meeting specifying the stages of the transfer to a single currency within the framework of the union state. According to Mr. Kasyanov, the agreement envisages Russia allocating two loans to Belarus, Interfax reports. One of them is designed to optimize Belarus’s balance of payments, making up the total of $100m, Mr. Kasyanov said (the above $30m tranche of it is to be allocated in December). The second loan is to be granted to create a reserve for stabilizing Belarus’s national currency, the loan being estimated at Rbs4.5bn.