MINSK (AFP) - The Belarus central bank on Friday raised its main refinancing rate by 2.0 percentage points to 22 percent, setting one of the worlds highest rates in a bid to stem spiralling inflation. The National Bank of Belarus said the rise in the key rate, which will take effect on August 17, was a part of a broader strategy to calm the countrys most serious economic crisis since it gained independence in 1991. The rate hike is aimed at raising the cost of borrowed capital, which is an important condition of the gradual tightening of the monetary and credit policies of the National Bank of Belarus, it said in a statement. The bank has now raised interest rates eight percentage points since the end of May, when the country also devalued its currency by 36 percent in a bid to stave off a dire hard.