Belarus wants to be compensated for introduction of Russian rouble

Belarus will only agree to accept the Russian rouble as the single currency in a monetary union with Russia on certain conditions. This was announced by Chairman of the National Bank of Belarus Pyotr Prokopovich.

There must be an agreement to compensate Belarus for agreeing to accept the rouble as the single currency. 'I am not saying that Belarus ought to be compensated by the Russian federal budget. The Russian rouble must stimulate economic growth in Belarus and replace our national currency. Naturally, we will need extra funds of roubles to stimulate the economy in Belarus,' he said.

Mr Prokopovich was surprised that Russia 'takes so long to resolve issues relating to compensation and other issues.' In Mr Prokopovich's opinion, if there is no compensation, then Russia would effectively be introducing the Russian rouble on Belarussian territory free of charge. He added that there would be little economic benefit for Belarus if there were no compensation. 'Economic growth will be minimal - 0.2-0.6%. It will be unnoticeable,' he stressed.

Belarus has estimated that the introduction of a single currency will cost the Belarussian economy USD 2.1 billion.

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