Huge foreign loans are given to sovereign nations by the World Bank, IMF and the likes. But the conditions that come attached to these loans are seldom told by governments to their citizens.
A recent case in Belarus has exposed the conditions laid by these agencies for loans being provided for COVID-19. The President of Belarus has exposed that the World Bank coronavirus aid comes with conditions for imposing extreme lockdown measures, to model their coronavirus response on that of Italy and even changes in the economic policies which he refused as being “unacceptable”.
Additional conditions which do not apply to the financial part are unacceptable for Belarus, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said when speaking about external lending during a meeting to discuss support measures for the real economic sector on the part of the banking system, reported Belarusian Telegraph Agency, BelTA.
Aleksandr Lukashenko asked the participants of the meeting how things were with the provision of foreign credit assistance to Belarus.
“What are our partners’ requirements? It was announced that they can provide Belarus with $940 million in so-called rapid financing. How are things here?” the head of state inquired.
At the same time, he stressed that additional conditions which do not apply to the financial part are unacceptable for the country.
“We hear the demands, for example, to model our coronavirus response on that of Italy. I do not want to see the Italian situation to repeat in Belarus. We have our own country and our own situation,” the president said.
According to the president, the World Bank has showed interest in Belarus’ coronavirus response practices.
“It is ready to fund us ten times more than it offered initially as a token of commendation for our efficient fight against this virus. The World Bank has even asked the Healthcare Ministry to share the experience. Meanwhile, the IMF continues to demand from us quarantine measures, isolation, a curfew. This is nonsense. We will not dance to anyone’s tune,” said the president.
Belarus is one of the only European countries that has not implemented strict coronavirus containment measures.