Lukashenko says Russia decided to issue a $1.5 bln loan to Minsk at his insistence

Lukashenko says Russia decided to issue a $1.5 bln loan to Minsk at his insistence

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said on Wednesday that Russia's decision to grant a $1.5 billion loan to Belarus was made at his insistence, TASS reports citing BelTA agency. 

"I must tell you that it was my insistence. Both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister suggested it to me that we should pay off this loan - this year we had to repay a billion (to Russia - TASS) on our old debt. Despite all the difficulties, we were ready to return this billion. This is not a new loan. It was my request to the leadership of Russia that we will not pay this billion this year, we will keep it and postpone it to the next year. The interest rate there is acceptable. So it is a matter of refinancing," Lukashenko said at a meeting in Minsk.

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