Belarus has taken a state loan worth $500 million from Venezuela for seven years, a source in Belarusian governmental circles told Interfax.
Belarus received the loan, which was included in the country's gold and forex reserves, in late December, 2008, the source said.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said last week that "Venezuela has already transferred $500 million [to Belarus]." As of December 1, 2008, Belarus' foreign debt was $3.144 billion, a 34.5% growth in eleven months. The debt grew after Belarus received a $1 billion stabilization loan from Russia on November 18.
In January 2009, Belarus received the first $788 million tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) within the framework of the 15-month stand-by program for $2.46 billion.
Belarus is expected to sign an agreement on another $1 billion stabilization loan with Russia before February 28, 2009.
The limit of the Belarusian foreign debt was $6 billion at the end of 2008.