MINSK, November 18, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian diplomats have ultimately met Vladislav Baumgertner, the general director of the Russia-based Uralkaliy Company, who is under house arrest in Belarus.
Russian Consul in Belarus Igor Karyagin told Itar-Tass on Monday that despite almost three months in custody Baumgertner felt well.
“Vladislav feels well. He does not complain of bad health or confinement conditions,” Karyagin said. He added that Baumgertner’s mother and father were taking turns in staying with their son.
The Russian diplomat said that the embassy workers had not discussed Baumgertner’s possible extradition to Russia during their visit to the Uralkaliy chief.
Karyagin pledged that the embassy would continue performing its functions in compliance with international laws and would seek permission to meet Baumgertner at least once in two months.
On November 13, Russian diplomats were told that they would be able to meet the Uralkaliy chief on November 15. On Friday morning, the Russian embassy said that Belarus’s Investigation Committee had postponed the meeting until next week.
Uralkaliy, the world’s biggest producer of potash fertilizers, withdrew from the Belarusian Potash Company, a joint venture set up by Uralkaliy and Belaruskaliy, a Belarusian state producer of potash fertilizers, late in July. Baumgertner was accused of selling fertilizers bypassing the joint venture. He was arrested in Belarus on November 26 on charges of power abuse and placed under house arrest in the Belarusian capital Minsk.
The Russian Investigation Committee has also initiated criminal proceedings against Baumgertner and sent an extradition request to Belarus. Moscow’s Basmannyi court has taken Baumgertner into custody in absentia.
Belarus’s chief prosecutor said last Friday that it was possible that Belarus would extradite Baumgertner to Russia.