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Russian diplomats still unable to meet with Uralkali CEO detained in Minsk

August 27, 2013, 10:56 UTC+3

Belarusian Foreign Ministry hasn't given any response to Russia's Embassy yet

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

Photo ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MINSK, August 27 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Embassy in Belarus has not yet received any response to its note to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry requesting a meeting between consulate staff with Uralkali CEO arrested in Minsk on August 26, Vladimir Marchukov, an advisor with the Russian diplomatic mission, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

"There has been no answer yet," Marchukov said. "Of course, no meeting could be arranged with the arrested person".

Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Belarusian Potash Company.

On Tuesday morning, Baumgartner's mother was expected to arrive in Minsk together with the lawyer provided by Uralkali. The company had also selected the Belarusian lawyer because under the republic's legislation defense in Belarus can only be provided by a Belarusian lawyer.

Why Baumgertner was detained

Chairman of Supervisory Board for Belarusian Potash Company and CEO for Uralkali Vladislav Baumgertner has been detained in Minsk on Monday, as reported by Belarusian Investigative Committee representative Pavel Traulko.

According to its representative, the Investigative Committee inquires into criminal cases filed by the country’s Prosecutor’s Office under articles connected with authority abuse and abuse of office by employees of Belarusian Potash Company – Chairman of Supervisory Board Vladislav Baumgertner, Supervisory Board member Oleg Petrov, First Deputy CEO Konstantin Solodovnikov, Financial Affairs Deputy CEO Igor Yevstratov, Head of Freight Department Dmitry Samoylov and other staff members.

“Reasons for initiation of criminal cases became files that indicate on the abuse of office that led to substantial damage to Belarus’s national and governmental interests, as well as losses to Beloruskali OJSC and Belarusian Potash Company CJSC,” the Investigative Committee’s representative noted.

The Investigative Committee’s spokesperson added that by virtue of the evidence available in the case, as well as other facts the Investigative Committee determined to consider the criminally persecuted persons as charged offenders.

Uralkali reaction

The Russia-based Uralkali company, one of the world’s biggest producers of potash fertilizers, on Monday resolutely condemned the detention of its general director Vladislav Baumgertner in Belarus.

“We are absolutely outraged by his detention and consider it to be a gross provocation on the part of the Belarusian authorities. We demand his immediate release,” Alexander Babinsky, a spokesperson for Uralkaliy, told Itar-Tass.

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