MINSK — Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday sharply attacked the International Monetary Fund for mixing politics with financial matters, saying its representatives had insisted on political prisoners being freed in exchange for credit.
The IMF denied the accusations. "As we have said in the past, the IMF does not set political conditions to its lending," a representative of the IMF's press service in Washington said. "We do not have the mandate to impose such conditions or the expertise to design and implement them." According to a letter from Lukashenko to the EU, obtained by Reuters on Sept. 1, however, he said he is ready to release all political prisoners by early October.