Continued from page 1

Russia said Tuesday it would consider Belarus’ request for another $3 billion or so in credit, but did not elaborate.

Western loans, however, could help reduce Belarus’ dependence on Moscow. In a sign of improving ties between Belarus and the West, the International Monetary Fund last month approved a $2.46 billion loan to Belarus. Belarusian officials also hope for a $1 billion loan from the World Bank.