12 Dec 2023 17:19

Russia ratifies restructuring part of Belarus' govt debt

MOSCOW/MINSK. Dec 12 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying the intergovernmental agreement concluded in April with Belarus, which envisages postponing payment timeframes when repaying the principal debt on government loans.

The document has been published on the official legal information portal.

The Federation Council previously ratified the agreement.

The relative parties signed the agreement in Moscow on April 21, 2023, and the agreement was temporarily applied as of the next day following signing.

When the agreement was ratified in the Russian State Duma on November 29, State Secretary and Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Sazanov reported that the document envisaged moving the payments for repaying the principal debt on government loans issued to Belarus, which the country must remit from April 16, 2023, to December 31, 2023, inclusive, to the period from 2029 to 2034.

According to the National Bank of Belarus, the government's external debt totaled $17.2 billion as on July 1, having declined 7% since the beginning of the year. Belarus' Finance Ministry had previously noted that the Russian Federation accounts for around 70% in the external debt structure.