4 Oct 2022 10:28

Russia, Belarus agree on import substitution projects, lending rates for them

MINSK. Oct 4 (Interfax) - Moscow and Minsk have agreed on a list of Belarusian import substitution projects that will be financed with Russian loans totaling $1.5 billion, Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said after a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in Moscow on Monday.

"At least 14 Belarusian businesses are awaiting major programs to modernize and develop production facilities," Golovchenko said in a video released by his press service after the meeting.

"We have decided on the interest rates, which will be very favourable for Belarusian manufacturers. We agreed on a list of these projects [that will be financed]," he said.

The loans will total the equivalent of $1.5 billion, and "perhaps even more," Golovchenko said.

There is still "a little technical work left," but on a number of projects "we have already begun working, as they say, with our own money," he said, adding that now "this will be backed by the corresponding credit resources of Russia."

Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Snopkov said in September that a draft agreement with Russia on financing for import substitution projects in Belarus was in the final stages.

"The signing of the financial arrangement is in the final stage, and the business plans, data sheets that businesses must prepare for presentation to receive financing are already in the active stage of being worked out," Snopkov said. He recalled that the two countries had earlier worked out a program for cooperation on Russian financing for import substitution projects in Belarus.