The President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, revealed that the International Monetary Fund conditioned $940 million in aid to his country on the government imposing strict lockdown measures due to the Covid.
Lukashenko considered those conditions “unacceptable.”
“What are our partners’ requirements?” Lukashenko asked during a meeting with government officials. “It was announced that they can provide Belarus with $940 million in so-called rapid financing…We hear the demands, for example, to model our coronavirus response on that of Italy. I do not want to see the Italian situation to repeat in Belarus. We have our own country and our own situation,” he added.
“It is ready to fund us ten times more than it offered initially as a token of commendation for our efficient fight against this virus. The World Bank has even asked the Healthcare Ministry to share the experience. Meanwhile, the IMF continues to demand from us quarantine measures, isolation, a curfew. This is nonsense. We will not dance to anyone’s tune,” he said.
Belarus is one of a handful of countries that has not imposed strict lockdowns due to the Covid19 epidemic. Sweden is perhaps the most famous example.
Countries that refuse to lockdown receive harsh criticism in the international community. But statistics have shown that their fatality and hospitalization rates are often on par with countries that have locked down, while their economies have fared much better.
Belarus, at the time of printing, has suffered 553 deaths during the Covid pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins.
Photo by Serge Serebro/Vitebsk Popular News