Belarus has secured an emergency loan of $2.5bn (£1.74bn) from the International Monetary Fund.
It becomes the sixth country after Iceland, Hungary, Ukraine, Latvia, and Pakistan to need a rescue since the crisis began.
The ex-Soviet state – still run by strongman Alexander Lukashenko – has suffered a run on its foreign reserves as the economic downturn engulfs Eastern Europe. The country’s key exports are potash fertilizer and oil products, both hit hard by the commodity crash.
The IMF’s chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said the tough terms of the bail-out include “strict public-sector wage restraint” and cuts in state spending. Russia has pledged a further $2bn.#