World Bank cites overdue payments, puts loans to Belarus in ‘nonperforming’ status
WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – The World Bank said on Monday it had placed all loans made by its main lending arm to Belarus into “nonperforming” status effective immediately, citing overdue payments amounting to $68.43 million.
All International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loans to, or guaranteed by, Belarus were affected, the bank said. The bank stopped all programs in Belarus on March 2, and has not approved new lending to the country since May 2020.
It said Belarus’ outstanding principal of $967 million amounted to 0.42% of IBRD’s total outstanding loans. Being placed in nonperforming status results in a charge to income of about $12.75 million, it said.
Belarus has made some Eurobond payments in Belarusian rubles since Western sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine limit Minsk’s ability to deal in foreign currencies.
The multilateral development bank halted all programs in Russia and Belarus with immediate effect in early March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 and what it called “hostilities against the people of Ukraine.”
It had already stopped approving any new lending to Belarus in mid-2020, when the United States imposed sanctions on the country over a disputed presidential election.
A flurry of military activity in Belarus last week raised concerns that President Alexander Lukashenko may commit his army in support of Russia’s flailing war effort in Ukraine.
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Reporting by Andrea Shaalal in Washington Editing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis
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