CEO of Russia's Uralkali arrested in Belarus

26 August 2013 17:44  [Source: ICIS news]

MOSCOW (ICIS)--The Belarus authorities detained CEO of Russia's major potash producer Uralkali on Monday following a bitter dispute with Belarus potash monopoly Belaruskali.

Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner was arrested in Belarus, the Belarus Investigation Committee said Monday. As an executive of Belarusian Potash Co (BPC), Baumgertner faces charges of abusing his powers, the committee's announcement was quoted as stating by the official BelTA news agency.

The committee also charged other Uralkali executives and issued international arrest warrants. As a result of their actions, the Republic of Belarus, the BPC and Belaruskali sustained serious damage, the committee said.

The committee referred to Uralkali's recent decision to suspend ties with the BPC and Belaruskali. On 30 July, Uralkali said the company decided to discontinue exports through the BPC and direct all export volumes through Uralkali Trading.

Uralkali argued that the Belarusian President's Decree No. 566, dated 22 December 2012, cancelled the exclusive right of BPC to export Belarusian potash. Subsequently, Belaruskali made a number of deliveries outside the BPC, while Uralkali described these actions as "unacceptable".

Belaruskali dismissed these arguments and claimed that Uralkali started deliveries outside the BPC.

Uralkali issued a statement after the arrest that it "refutes any allegation of wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Baumgertner or any other manager of Uralkali."

Russia's first deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov described Baumgertner's arrest as "very strange and inadequate" in televised remarks.

By: Sergei Blagov
+44 20 8652 3214

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