China invests big in Belarus | Business
China to provide Belarus with a 3.5 billion yuan (over $ 500 million) urgent loan
China to provide Belarus with a 3.5 billion yuan (over $ 500 million) urgent loan. The agreement was reached on Monday in Shanghai, the Ministry of Finance of Belarus said. Funds will be allocated by the Shanghai branch of China Development Bank.
According to the message, the loan is not related to the implementation of any project and can be used for general purposes, including the repayment and servicing of public debt. The deal is called “unprecedented” in the message of the Ministry of Finance and testifies to a “new level of relations” between Belarus and China. The loan is provided for five years, according to the decree of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on attracting external funds.
Back in the summer, it was reported that Minsk began negotiations with China after difficulties arose in negotiations with Russia on a new loan of $ 600 million. The Ministry of Finance of Belarus then said that Minsk did not need “political loans” from Russia.
The agreement with China was reached against the backdrop of difficult negotiations between Minsk and Moscow on deepening integration within the Union State. The Belarusian economy has suffered from the so-called “tax maneuver” in Russia, Russia remains the largest creditor to Belarus. At the same time, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly stated that he is not ready to sacrifice the country’s sovereignty for the sake of economic benefits..
The talks between Lukashenka and Vladimir Putin in Sochi on December 7 ended without signing any documents. A new meeting is scheduled for December 20 in St. Petersburg. The Belarusian opposition fears that Russia is “twisting the arms” of Lukashenko, forcing him to agree to deepen integration up to the full subordination of Minsk to Moscow.
In recent years, Belarus has been actively developing cooperation with China. The countries have agreed on a visa-free regime, China is creating a large industrial park near Minsk, in which, according to estimates, 150 thousand jobs can be created.
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