The Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) has transferred the first $800 million tranche of an emergency loan to Belarus to stabilize its finances, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Tuesday.
"Belarus yesterday complied with all formal requirements and today the money has already been transferred," Kudrin said.
EurAsEC, a post-Soviet economic bloc led by Russia approved a $3 billion bailout loan early in June for the ex-Soviet republic struggling to keep its economy afloat.
The Belarusian ruble came under pressure in the first five months of the year from a large trade deficit, generous wage increases and loans granted by the government ahead of the December 2010 presidential elections, which spurred strong demand for foreign currency.
In spring, the country's authorities devaluated the national currency by 36 percent in one day, froze prices on some staple foods and introduced a fuel rationing to keep the lid on a deepening financial crisis.
The Belarusian government has applied for loans from Russia and EurAsEC. Russia said it would support loan disbursement to Belarus via EurAsEC.
The Belarusian authorities also said the country intends to raise up to $8 billion from the International Monetary Fund.