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Russia's $500 mln loan to Belarus to be discussed Thursday


MINSK/MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's final $500 million tranche of a $2 billion loan to Belarus will be under discussion at a session of the ministers council in Minsk on Thursday, a Belarusian deputy premier said on Wednesday.

"We expect that a final decision will be made in the nearest future as all the documentation has already been prepared and Belarus is ready to sign the loan agreement on May 28," Andrei Kobyakov said.

Minsk received a $500 million loan from Moscow in March. Belarus earlier received $1 billion of a $2 billion, 15-year stabilization loan from Russia.

The Russian premier's press secretary, however, refused to confirm that the signing of the tranche agreement is planned for Thursday.

"At the moment, we are not confirming this," Dmitry Peskov said adding that the issue would be discussed in a "constructive way."

Belarus has also asked Russia for 100 billion rubles ($2.7 billion), in addition to the agreed $2 billion loan, to pay for Russian energy and metal supplies in rubles.

The Russian government said prime ministers Vladimir Putin and Sergei Sidorsky would sign an agreement on cooperation in the civilian nuclear sphere.

Russia's state nuclear corporation Rosatom said earlier this year the inter-government agreement was needed to speed up talks on the construction of Belarus's first nuclear power plant.

Belarus plans to build a nuclear power plant with a capacity of 2,000 MW, with the first unit due to come online in 2016 and the second in 2018 earlier reports said

Rosatom also said Russia could build the plant without participating in a tender.

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