The IMF should be more strict with Belarus

Writes the Wall Street Journal. According to the newspaper Belarus risks plunge into chaos.

Lukashenko freezes food prices and threatened to dismiss the prime minister and the head of the National Bank after the sharp devaluation of the Belarusian ruble sparked panic buying of food and the fear of inflation.

Lukashenko, dissatisfied with the requirements of the Russian state property to sell in exchange for loans, seek the help of the IMF. But give him loans should be only under strict conditions.

In 2009 —2010x Belarus has already borrowed from the IMF $ 3.4 billion and realized a 15-month program of reforms on the recommendation of the Fund. But the structural problems remain: 70% of the economy — it's the public sector, the engine of growth remains rapid credit expansion, the country is heavily dependent on imports. The increase in government spending on the eve of presidential election exacerbated the economic crisis.

One can argue about whether the IMF to lend to Belarus at all. But the new IMF program could reduce the control of Lukashenko over the economy and encourage competition. Lukashenko position in the negotiations with the IMF will be weak. And without reform there is a risk of a new devaluation, the collapse of the economy and inflation.

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