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Belarus wants Russia to ease 2-billion-dollar loan conditions


09:54, August 30, 2011

MINSK, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Belarus wants Russia's Sberbank to ease the terms on a 2-billion-U.S dollar loan for the country's top potash miner Belaruskali, Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich told local media on Monday.

"We are working on changing the conditions, including the right to repay it ahead of schedule. We think that this loan may be secured on export contracts," Myasnikovich said.

Sberbank insisted the loan should be secured by Belaruskali's shares, he said. Earlier Belaruskali General Director Valery Kirienko said Minsk was unlikely to accept the conditions. According to him, the conditions of the 2-billion-dollar loan proposed by Sberbank and Deutsche Bank do not suit the Belarusian contingent.

The banks are only prepared to grant a loan if it is secured with a 35-percent stake in Belaruskali. "Under the conditions offered by the Russian side I am sure that our government will not agree to accept the loan," said Kirienko.

Experts said the loan to state-owned Belaruskali was seen as one of the ways to boost Belarusian economy, which is facing a financial crisis after last year's presidential elections resulted in increased budget spending and left Minsk short of cash.


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