27 May 2024 12:54

Russia might double or triple lending for import substitution projects in Belarus - ambassador

MINSK. May 27 (Interfax) - Russia might increase financing for import substitution projects in Belarus by two or three times after a previously provided government loan of 105 billion Russian rubles is used up, the Belarusian ambassador in Moscow, Dmitry Krutoi said after talks between the two countries' presidents.

"Local tactical objectives are projects in machine building, the drawdown of 105 billion Russian rubles in credit resources for import substitution projects. A willingness to double or triple this loan depending on the number of projects that will be additionally proposed by our manufacturers has been confirmed," Krutoi was quoted as saying by state news agency BelTA.

He also said that, in the course of negotiations in Minsk on Friday, presidents Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin agreed to look for new market niches for investment projects.

They set the "strategic objective of selecting a group of serious experts from the two sides and conducting a thorough analysis of every sector of the Union State to look for new market niches where the sides could implement an additional pool of investment projects to create new competencies in the Belarusian economy," Krutoi said.

Furthermore, in the area of cooperation in the agribusiness sector, the two countries are discussing a "universal mechanism that will make it possible to exclude the closure of Belarusian enterprises for supplies to the Russian market," he said.

"The Russian president praised our processors of agricultural products, noted the increase in the number of retail outlets that sell Belarusian goods, the growth of their recognizability and supported this matter in every way," Krutoi said.

The agreement to grant Belarus a Russian government loan of up to 105 billion Russian rubles was signed in November 2022.

Belarusian Deputy Industry Minister Alexander Yefimov said in April that Belarusian businesses have begun to active supply Russia with products to replace imports that are made under investment projects financed by the Russian loan. He said that 20 import substitution projects are being actively implemented and the parties are holding negotiations on seven new projects under the credit line.