MINSK, 22 July (BelTA) - Belarus is in a position to fulfill its external financial obligations, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko told the media in Minsk on 22 July, BelTA has learned.
Roman Golovchenko commented on the news that the international agencies downgraded the rating of Belarus and declared the country in default. "We are living in surrealism of sorts. All the past models that were in place don't matter now. In the past the default would have been a serious challenge for Belarus, because it would have had certain consequences. Now we do not care. We fundamentally disagree with some agencies that downgraded the ratings of Belarus and declared a certain default stage," he said.
According to him, Belarus has had no contractual relations with Moody's since 2018. Meanwhile ratings are assigned on the basis of concluded contracts. “We do not worry about this. Default means the inability of a state to fulfill its financial obligations. We do have these opportunities. We have budgeted the funds for honoring the obligations, including eurobonds," the prime minister said.
He noted that due to the relevant actions of the international financial institutions, Belarus cannot conduct transactions and, accordingly, transfer the money. "In this case, I am talking about the interest payments on eurobonds," Roman Golovchenko added.
"In February, we paid a small amount, but it did not reach all holders of Belarusian eurobonds. We bear responsibility before the owners of our bonds and are not going to make any transaction until we know for sure where the money goes. We have an official payment agent for eurobonds - the English Citibank. Due to the sanctions it refused to carry out transactions with the Finance Ministry and the National Bank of Belarus," the prime minister said. “In this situation, the government and the National Bank made a joint decision regarding the procedure for fulfilling our obligations. There is a fairly wide range of options. We transferred the Belarusian ruble equivalent of the money that we owed.”
"The irresponsible behavior of the financial institutions leaves us with no other choice. We do not see any consequences for Belarus. Because we are able to fulfill our obligations," the prime minister stressed.