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British Bank Halts Belarus Work After Criticism

The Royal Bank of Scotland
One of Britain's major banks, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has said it will no longer do work for the Belarusian government following criticism by rights groups.

Free Belarus Now and the U.K.-based Index on Censorship had criticized the bank -- which is majority state-owned -- for its role in selling more than $800 million in Belarusian government bonds earlier this year.

In a statement, the bank said, "RBS has ceased any type of capital-raising for or on behalf of the Belarus republic."

The European Union and United States have imposed sanctions on President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and nearly 200 prominent officials in response to Minsk's crackdown on opposition protests following last year's disputed presidential election.

compiled from agency reports