In April 2022, the EBRD’s Board of Governors decided to suspend access to the Bank’s resources by Belarus, in response to its support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Bank has closed its office in Minsk. Belarus continues to be a shareholder of the Bank.
In addition, we remain deeply concerned by the situation with human rights and freedom of speech inside Belarus. Ever since the disputed Presidential election of August 2020, we have urged the authorities to pursue an inclusive national dialogue to explore a way forward.
In the light of our Governors’ decision in April 2022, the Bank has notified relevant borrowers that their right to request any further drawdowns under their loan agreements with EBRD has been suspended.
Furthermore, the Bank notified relevant project entities that their right to any further disbursements under any grant agreements has also been suspended.
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The EBRD’s latest Belarus strategy was adopted on 7 September 2016
GDP forecast for Belarus’s Real GDP growth in 2022 -5.2%
GDP forecast for Belarus’s Real GDP growth in 2023 -1.0%
The economy has been badly hit by the heavy sanctions imposed as a result of the country’s support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. GDP decreased by 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the period January to July 2022, with declines of 7.5 per cent in manufacturing, 8.1 per cent in agriculture, 9.3 per cent in trade, 12.7 per cent in construction and up to 16.0 per cent in transport. Strengthened sanctions involving the cut-off of access to international financial markets and transit of goods through the EU have seriously impacted the export of potash, oil derivatives, wood, chemicals and machinery, even to third countries not applying sanctions on Belarus. At the same time, the largest trade partner, Russia, is also in recession. Inflation reached 17.9 per cent in August 2022. Although the authorities are making efforts to find new transport routes and resume the export of main products to countries still willing to buy them, the near-term prospects for the economy remain bleak. GDP is forecast to decline by 5.5 per cent in 2022 and by 1.0 per cent in 2023. In the current geo-political situation the risks remain skewed on the negative side.