MINSK, 21 November (BelTA) - Belarus is interested in the development of cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and projects in various fields, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with EIB Vice President Alexander Stubb on 21 November, BelTA informs.
“In fact, the meeting with you marks a new stage in the development of relations with the European Investment Bank. This is a milestone. We have overcome a few barriers, there was misunderstanding from both sides, especially from the western side. Europe and the entire western world have recently made sure that they can work with Belarus, that Belarus is a reliable partner, especially in trade, economic and financial relations,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The Belarusian president remarked that the signing of agreements with the EIB to finance projects aimed at Belarus' development proves that misunderstanding between the sides no longer exists.
The head of state said that Belarus is now working with the bank on the loans to the tune of about €500 million. He stressed that this is a big amount and the terms are acceptable for the country. “We thoroughly select investment projects. It is very important for us that you support projects for our people - projects in housing, water disposal and supply, development of infrastructure and roads. And we will be responsible partners in this regard,” the Belarusian leader said.
Alexander Lukashenko asked Alexander Stubb for assistance in the development of cooperation between Belarus and Finland because the EIB vice president occupied various high posts in that country. “I would like you to help us establish close relations with Finland. This country is virtually of the same size as Belarus. It has advanced technologies,” the president remarked. He also pointed out the similarity of the countries' economies and the importance of bolstering cooperation in technology.
The European Investment Bank signed agreements for €160 million with Belarus. The documents were signed in pursuance of the framework agreement that Belarus and the EIB concluded in 2017.
The agreement between Belarus and the EIB is aimed at financing the project to upgrade the Minsk water and wastewater treatment plant. The project will be co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The EIB signed another two loan agreements with Belarusbank and Belagroprombank that will on-lend the funds to small and medium-sized businesses.
Belarus is interested in the implementation of infrastructure projects in road renovation, efficient energy consumption, research, design and experimental work, production ecology, digital transformation. In 2018-2019 the bank may invest about €420 million in Belarus.
A possibility to open an office in Belarus to expand the presence of the EIB in the country.
The European Investment Bank is the European Union's bank that provides long-term finance and expertise for sustainable investment projects in Europe and outside its borders. The bank is owned by 28 European Union member states. The bank is the world's largest multilateral borrower and lender. The EIB is headquartered in Luxembourg. Its network includes more than 40 branch offices.More about President