EU to help Belarus upgrade highway to Vilnius for $110 mln

Vice-President of the European Investment Bank Vazil Hudak / Maria Vaytovich, Euroradio

On July 24, the European Investment Bank signed two agreements with Belarus on financing new projects, Vice-President of the Bank Vazil Hudák said at the meeting with journalists. 

The first project will concern the modernization of the M7 road with increasing capacity," says the EIB representative. "This is the section that connects Minsk with Vilnius. The amount of funding for this project will be $110 million. The second project concerns the modernization of the water treatment system worth €66 million to improve the quality of water services. Thus, up to 500 thousand people in the country will have access to cleaner water".

Vazil Hudák noted that after signing the agreements the number of joint EIB projects with Belarus will reach four. The amount of funding will be about 335 million euros. 

The main task of the bank is to invest in projects combatting climate change 

The bank's management plans to continue cooperation with Belarus. Among the issues that are being discussed with the national and city authorities are the development of clean transport (mainly railways), municipal infrastructure, the private sector and the energy sector. 

According to Vazil Hudák, the recent elections to the European Parliament have demonstrated that the Europeans support those parties that are ready to combat climate change and its consequences. In Europe, there is a general greening of projects. The EIB said it is ready to become a climate bank for the EU. By 2025, it plans to increase the proportion of its project portfolio which aims to combat climate change from 25 percent to 50 percent. At the same time, the average annual level of financing allocated by the bank is from 70 to 75 billion euros. By 2050, the amount of investment in climate work, or climate change projects, will have reached 1 trillion euros.

"While studying possible projects and initiatives in Belarus, we pay special attention to those projects that contain climate or environmental aspects. We are not only a European family, but also a family that is united by a common climate," said EIB Vice-President. 

Head of the National Bank: Belarus needs structural reforms 

Talking to journalists, Vazil Hudák spoke about his meeting with Chairman of the National Bank of Belarus Pavel Kallaur.

Chairman of the National Bank of Belarus Pavel Kallaur / BelTA