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Interpol issues international warrant for arrest of 4 Belarusian Potash Company top managers

August 27, 2013, 12:52 UTC+3

Russia's ambassador to Belarus set to demand Uralkali CEO Alexander Baumgertner's release

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Artyom Korotaev

Photo ITAR-TASS/Artyom Korotaev

MINSK, August 27. (Itar-Tass). – Interpol has issued an international arrest warrant against four top managers of Belarusian Potash Company put in the wanted list. This was reported on Tuesday by the Investigative Committee of Belarus.

Earlier it was reported that 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.

The embassy’s spokesperson Vladimir Marchukov expressed the stance of Russia saying that Alexander Baumgertner (Uralkali CEO and Supervisory Board Chairman of the Belarusian Potash Company) should be released.

Vladimir Marchukov added that on Tuesday Russia’s ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov would meet with the leadership of Belarusian Prosecutor General’s Office and insist on Baumgertner’s release. He also noted that Russian diplomats are ready to provide any assistance in solving issues linked to Uralkali CEO’s arrest.

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 ofBelarusian 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 andBelarusian 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 Mondayresolutely 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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