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Belarus receives first third of $1.5 bln loan from Moscow

MOSCOW, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Belarus received a $500 million loan from Moscow on Friday, the first third of a credit from the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) which is majority owned by the governments of Russia and Kazakhstan.

The EDB said it had transferred Belarus the funds from its Eurasian Stabilisation and Development Fund. The Belarusian finance ministry confirmed the money had arrived.

Belarus has been rocked by protests since the election commission said Alexander Lukashenko had won a sixth term as president in an Aug. 9 election. Lukashenko’s opponents say the election was rigged, a charge he denies.

Russia promised Belarus a $1.5 billion loan last month as part of Moscow’s efforts to stabilise its close partner. Economists have said the loan will be enough to shore up Lukashenko’s position only for the time being.

The funding from the EDB is for a period of up to 10 years, the bank said, with a grace period of up to five years at a floating interest rate, defined as the average yield on Russian Eurobonds in U.S. dollars over a seven-year timeline. (Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva; additional reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Writing by Alexander Marrow, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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