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European Investment Bank to invest 260mn euros in Belarus in 2019


The European Investment Bank will invest 260 million euros in Belarus in 2019, EIB Vice President Alexander Stubb today said after meeting with Belarusian President Aliksandr Lukashenka. BELTA reports that several contracts on loans in amount of nearly 160 million euros have been signed.

The first agreement is with Minskvodokanal [to upgrade the Minsk water and wastewater treatment plant], which will enhance the quality of life for roughly 2 million people. The second project is to support small and medium-sized companies through Belarusian banks. The project will help create more than 2500 jobs, Alexander Stubb said.

The press office of Belarusian head of state reports that Aliaksandr Lukashenka called the meeting with Alexander Stubb 'a historic moment.' "Today, Europe and the West in general are convinced that they can deal with Belarus, that Belarus is a reliable partner, especially in the field of trade, economy and financial relations," President Lukashenka said. He added the investment projects had been thoroughly selected.

The EU Delegation to Belarus wrote in a statement on the deal as follows:

The Republic of Belarus and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are starting a new era of cooperation by signing on the 20 of November, 2018 the first ever loans provided by the EU bank in this country. The loans, for a total amount of nearly EUR 160m, target sectors and projects that both the European Union and the Republic of Belarus consider essential in order to foster investments in the areas of social and economic infrastructure, private sector development and climate action.

First ever EIB support for Belarus – development of water infrastructure and private sector. The EU bank is providing EUR 84m to Minsk Vodokanal to finance the rehabilitation and modernisation of the capital city’s central wastewater treatment plant, that served 2m people. Around 200 small and medium-sized companies will benefit from two loans provided by the EU bank to Belagroprombank (EUR 50m) and Belarusbank (EUR 25m).

Head of EU Delegation in Belarus Andrea Wiktorin stated: "Today's event is a significant development in the relations between the EU and Belarus. The EU has not only increased the overall amount of assistance, but also widened the spectrum of available instruments for joint cooperation. This concerns both policy action and sound investments into sustainable infrastructure and private sector development. Belarus will as of now benefit from European Investment Bank lending for the benefit of its citizens and the environment."