Russia lends Belarus $760m as economy shrinks by 2%

Russia lends Belarus: Moscow this week extended a 10-year $760m loan to Minsk as Belarus  tries to meet $4bn in debt repayments in the middle of an economic slump. While Russia has been a traditional source of financial aid for Belarus, its giant neighbour’s recession and the devaluation of the rouble has dragged it down with it,  precipitating a 2% economic  slump in the first quarter of this year. The weakness of the rouble has also had a significant impact on the dollar value of its exports. Belarus’ external debt stood $12.4bn  as of April 1 — around 17 %of gross domestic product – according to the country’s Finance Ministry, with  $4bn due in repayments by the end of the year.