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Belarus: Soros Closes Foundation's Operations

By Alexander Lukashuk

Minsk, 3 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - Wealthy businessman George Soros today announced he is closing operations in Belarus. In a statement released today, the Soros Foundation cites harassment by Belarus's government, including what it called "politically motivated investigations, unjustified and exorbitant fines, and the seizure of its bank account."

The statement notes Belarusian authorities have accused the Foundation of involvement in opposition political activities, which Soros denies. And the statement says Belarus is the only country in the former-Communist bloc where Foundation operations have been closed.

The Hungarian-born Soros's Open Society Institute has contributed millions of dollars to promote democracy and a free press in former Communist countries.