MINSK, 27 August (BelTA) – The government will not let the national currency collapse, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting in Minsk on 27 August, BelTA has learned.
“Our domestic rascals are now openly calling for destabilization of the financial market. Some people have already succumbed to the calls to withdraw foreign currency from banks and so on,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“We will not allow the collapse of the national currency. If people want to buy dollars, let them do it, it costs what it costs today. We have a floating exchange rate. If the demand goes up, the dollar and euro will rise. If the demand shrinks, the dollar and euro will cost less. We are not trying to curb the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble,” the head of state emphasized.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus has not really tapped into its gold and foreign currency reserves yet. “The National Bank and the government are doing a great job. I anticipated this situation when three months ago I set a task to return all gold and foreign currency reserves back to the country. Absolutely all our gold, up to a gram, was returned,” he said.
“Thus, there is no catastrophe. Indeed, some exchange offices might sometimes run out of cash. However, it always happens when the demand is high. I instructed the National Bank to take action to avoid such situations. If people want to get their money back, let them do it. We have enough reserves to keep the exchange rate at an acceptable level,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to the president, he was informed that some people who exchanged their money were robbed, because criminals had learned about it. “I think our people should think about it in earnest,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko informed that Belarus and Russia will hold talks on refinancing a $1 billion debt. “We have agreed upon it with the Russian president and today our prime minister will hold talks with Mikhail Mishustin [Russia’s prime minister] to discuss the refinancing,” the head of state said.
He explained that this year Belarus seeks to refinance $1 billion it owes to the Russian Federation. “In other words, we will keep this billion dollars here upon the agreement with Russia. This will be a good boost for our national currency,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
In addition to that, export is also expected to generate a considerable inflow of foreign currency revenues. “Our export is now doing pretty well, in particular in Russia and China. Export means foreign currency revenues,” the president said.
“We have survived this election, we have survived calls for strikes [they failed to goad people into doing it). We have survived a blitzkrieg on the streets when they wanted to strangle the country on 9-10 August. We have survived all this and we will survive this, too,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.