Belarus to receive EurAsEC loan tranche despite Uralkali CEO's arrest - official

The arrest in Minsk of Uralkali (RTS: URKA) CEO Vladislav Baumgertner, who is also supervisory board chairman at Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), will not have any effect on the disbursement of the next tranche of the EurAsEC stabilization loan to Belarus, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told journalists

The arrest in Minsk of Uralkali (RTS: URKA) CEO Vladislav Baumgertner, who is also supervisory board chairman at Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), will not have any effect on the disbursement of the next tranche of the EurAsEC stabilization loan to Belarus, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told journalists.

"At present we have not analyzed what effect that will have. In the final analysis, the anticrisis fund and Belarus have mutual commitments; the terms and conditions have been prescribed. Russia and Kazakhstan have commitments to the [EurAsEC] anticrisis fund, which are not in any way affected by arrests. We must uphold our commitments," Storchak said.

If the EurAsEC anticrisis fund decides that "it is time to disburse the final tranche, we will disburse it," he said.

Storchak said he "is not confusing" Baumgartner's arrest and the decision to disburse the next tranche of the loan to Belarus. Such matters do influence the negotiating process itself, but "have no effect on the ultimate goals."

"This episode might be a misunderstanding," he said.

As for the negotiating process, Storchak said he was referring to "how contacts would occur in future, whether we can go there or not."

The issue of disbursing the sixth and final tranche of the stabilization loan - $440 million - to Belarus is to be examined in November 2013. The EurAsEC anticrisis fund approved the $3 billion stabilization loan to Belarus in June 2011. Belarus has already received five tranches totaling $2.56 billion.

In recent days, the Belarusian Finance Ministry reported that it planned to request another stabilization loan from the anticrisis fund. Storchak said the Finance Ministry has yet to receive any official document from Belarus concerning an application for a new loan.

However, no decision on a new stabilization loan from the anticrisis fund can be made until the member countries affirm that the previous loan program met the agreed goals.

"We have not performed that analysis yet," Storchak said.

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