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Minsk Investments Go Sour

The only terminal at Minsk National Airport

The government of Belarus said it is terminating its investment deal with Cyprus-based Itera Vnukovo.

The investment deal was signed in October 2008 and involved transferring Minsk Aircraft Repair Works to the territory of Minsk National Airport and establishing a new up-to-date center for aircraft maintenance and repairs, Interfax reported Friday.

The project was part of a large-scale Itera group investment program to build the Minsk-City multifunctional complex at the aircraft repair company.

The project, which Itera began to implement in early 2009, was estimated to cost about $5 billion. Minsk-City was to be completed by 2020.

Itera planned to attract Vnukovo International Airport as a strategic partner and held talks with major Russian banks. The project was represented by the Minsk-City company, a subsidiary of the Russian gas company, which was the customer for the business center’s design and construction.

Itera had an 85 percent stake in Minsk-City, with the remainder belonging to the Minsk City Executive Committee.

However, on Feb. 16, 2012, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko decided to terminate the agreement with Itera, saying the pace of implementation of the Minsk-City project was not satisfactory. Since the beginning of the project in 2009, just 0.5 percent of the announced investment had been made.

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