Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Russia protests Belarus arrest of potash CEO  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 27/08/2013
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) Russia on Tuesday protested to its ex-Soviet ally Belarus over the "unacceptable" arrest of the chief executive of the leading Russian potash producer, who was detained in Minsk just hours after he met the country's premier.

Uralkali chief executive Vladislav Baumgertner was arrested at Minsk airport on Monday after visiting Belarus on the personal invitation of Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich.

He was detained three weeks after Uralkali severed links with its Belarussian partner Belaruskali, triggering a crash in the share prices of global manufacturers of the fertiliser.

In a rare diplomatic row between Minsk and Moscow, Russia summoned the Belarussian ambassador for a meeting at the Russian foreign ministry.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told Belarus' ambassador Igor Petrishenko in Moscow that "the arrest of the businessman... is unacceptable," the ministry said in a statement.

"The arrest and information campaign surrounding it does not reflect the allied nature of our relations and could affect the scheduling of Russian-Belarussian contacts at a political level," it added, demanding Baumgertner's release.

The spokesman of the Belarus foreign ministry, Andrei Savinykh, hit back by saying the arrest should be "examined in the spirit of the law and not based on emotion and linkages to politics", a statement said.

Russia's ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov subsequently had a meeting at the Belarussian prosecutors' office in Minsk to discuss Baumgertner's arrest, Belarus state media said.

Belarussian investigators claim to have uncovered an illegal scheme by Baumgertner and other Uralkali managers to enrich themselves at a cost of 100 million to Belarus.

Baumgertner can now be held in custody for two months, although that can be extended, the spokesman of the Belarussian Investigative Committee, Pavel Traulko, said Tuesday.

"The accused is currently being interrogated," he told AFP in Minsk.

Belarussian state-controlled media have played up the arrest, with daily newspaper Belarus Segodnya (Belarus Today), which is run by the presidential administration, saying Uralkali's behaviour was similar to the "bandit capitalism" of the 1990s.

State television in a report entitled "Crime of the year" showed Baumgertner after his arrest being searched by security officers with his arms and legs spread apart and face against the wall.

Four other managers at Uralkali have also been put on a wanted list by Belarussian authorities, but they are currently all believed to be in Moscow.

The Belarussian Investigative Committee also said that it is looking into Suleiman Kerimov, the billionaire owner of Russia premier league team Anzhi Makhachkala and a major Uralkali shareholder, for unlawful activities.

The arrest of Baumgertner shocked observers, given the regime of strongman Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is hugely dependent on cheap energy imports from Russia and Russian credits to keep its economy afloat.

A source close to Uralkali told Russia's Kommersant daily that the approval for such an arrest could only have come from Lukashenko, who has been in power for almost two decades.

The source added that Baumgertner's meeting with Myasnikovich had been "far from constructive".

"Of course (Mikhail) Myasnikovich knew about it (the impending arrest). The meeting with him was used as bait," the source told Kommersant.

The mercurial Lukashenko has needled Russia on occasion with his sometimes maverick behaviour but observers believe the Kremlin prefers him to a pro-West figure who could steer Minsk toward the European Union.

Lukashenko faced protests after his controversial re-election in 2010 and a severe economic crisis afterwards but largely remains unchallenged at the helm of Belarus.

Described as running Europe's last dictatorship by the United States and again treated as a pariah by the EU after the 2010 polls, Lukashenko is greatly bolstered by Russian support.

Uralkali accounts for about 20 percent of global potash production and the severing of its joint venture with Belaruskali was seen as marking the end of a cartel that has supported global potash prices.


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Jan 31 2015 - Bahrain's Investcorp to buy Spanish ceramics firmMENAFN
(MENAFN) Bahrain-based Investcorp said that it will be acquiring Fritta, a Spanish company that makes products for the ceramics industry, Arabian Business reported.Fritta produces important items in ...

 Jan 31 2015 - Total wins 10 percent stake in Abu Dhabi oil concessionsMENAFN
(MENAFN) French company Total said that it has signed a deal with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) for a 10 cent stake in developing oilfields in Abu Dhabi as part of oil concessions for a ...

 Jan 31 2015 - Iraqi oil exports decline in JanuaryMENAFN
(MENAFN) Iraq, OPEC's second-largest producer, registered a decline in its oil exports from its southern region in January from a record high recorded in the previous month due to shipping delays, ...

 Jan 31 2015 - Vodafone Qatar revenue up 21 percent in 9MMENAFN
(MENAFN) Vodafone Qatar's said its total revenue grew by 21 percent to USD474.59 billion for the nine months ended December 31, 2014, The Peninsula Qatar reported.The company's mobile customer base ...

 Jan 31 2015 - Qatar Airways to acquire 10 percent of IAGMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar Airways announced that it has bought nearly 10 percent of the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia, deepening wealthy Qatar's business ties to Europe, Arab News ...

 Jan 31 2015 - Saudi RCJY signs three deals worth USD138.25mMENAFN
(MENAFN) Chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY) signed three contracts worth USD138.25 million to provide essential equipment and develop industrial zones, Arab News ...

 Jan 31 2015 - Saudi- Outspoken prince to launch pan-Arab news channelThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) An outspoken, billionaire Saudi prince will on Sunday launch a pan-Arab satellite news channel aimed at challenging established networks in the region.Prince Alwaleed bin ...

 Jan 31 2015 - Qaeda in Yemen says France top enemyThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The ideological leader of Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said Friday that France had surpassed the United States as the top enemy of Islam.With the ...

 Jan 31 2015 - Qaeda group launches assault on Western-backed Syria rebelsThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria battled Western-backed rebels Friday as the jihadists pressed their bid to seize control of northern areas, a monitoring group and rebels ...

 Jan 31 2015 - Iraq- Air strike kills IS 'chemical weapons expert'The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A US-led coalition air strike killed a chemical weapons specialist with the Islamic State group in Iraq who once worked for Saddam Hussein, US military officers said ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help