EBRD pushes to halt Belarus private sector investments

The management of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is pushing to halt private sector investments in Belarus due to the difficult backdrop in the country, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

“In current circumstances, EBRD management think it is inappropriate to consider any new projects in Belarus – whether those are private or public sector projects,” the source said.

However, it was down to the bank’s board to take a formal decision on such a move, the person added.

In July, the bank’s President Odile Renaud-Basso confirmed that the board had decided to not do any further public sector projects in the country, though she said at the time that private sector projects would continue.

The EBRD currently has 914 million euros ($1.03 billion) of investments across 65 projects in the country, of which 60% are in the private sector.

Most of the projects had been signed before August 2020, when President Alexander Lukashenko tightened his grip on the country in a disputed election that sparked mass protests and fresh sanctions from western capitals.

The next EBRD board meeting is scheduled for November 24.

($1 = 0.8838 euros)