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Russian ambassador meets Belarusian prosecutors over Uralkali CEO release

August 27, 2013, 17:10 UTC+3
Marchukov received the assurances that the Prosecutor General's Office would once again analyze the legality of all actions related to Uralkali CEO's detention
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Photo ITAR-TASS/Artyom Korotaev

Photo ITAR-TASS/Artyom Korotaev

MINSK, August 27 (Itar-Tass) - Belarusian prosecutors promised to check the legality of detention of the Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner, advisor at the Russian Embassy in Belarus Vladimir Marchukov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday, in comments on the results of the meeting earlier in the day between Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov with leadership of the Belarusian Prosecutor General's Office.

"The meeting lasted some 20 minutes," the diplomat said. "Marchukov explained the Russian view of the situation. He received the assurances that the Prosecutor General's Office would once again analyze the legality of all actions related to the detention of Uralkali's director general."

Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov has met leadership of the Belarusian Prosecutor General's Office demanding release from custody of Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgеrtner, who was arrested in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

Results of the 20-minute meeting were not immediately announced. The head of the Russian diplomatic mission walked out of the prosecutor's office, got into his car and left without talking to reporters.

Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgеrtner was detained in Minsk on Monday. The Belarusian authorities accuse him of misuse of $100 million and said they would check the activity of the key company owner, Suleiman Kerimov, whose fund has a 21.75% stake in Uralkali.

The Belarusian Investigative Committee said Baumgеrtner had been arrested on the strength of evidence about company top managers' abuse of office powers. It caused damage to the state and public interests of Belarus, as well as to Belaruskali and the Belarusian Potassium Company.

The Russian embassy in Belarus said it had not yet received a response to its note to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry requesting a meeting between consular personnel and Baumgertner.

Meanwhile, Belarusian investigators said Interpol had issued arrest warrants for four top managers of the Belarusian Potash Company /BKK/: board member Oleg Petrov, First Deputy Director General Konstantin Solodovnikov, Deputy Director General for finance Igor Yevstratov and head of the freight department, Dmitry Samoilov.

On Tuesday, the Russian foreign ministry invited Belarussia's ambassador to Russia Igor Petrishenko to a meeting with State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigory Karasin to discuss the Baumgertner affair.

"Russia stated that the detention of the businessman, who was in Belarus at the invitation of the republic's prime minister for the solution of important issues of Russian-Belarusian economic interaction, was inadmissible," a Russian diplomat told Itar-Tass after the meeting.

"The fact of detaining Baumgertner and the information campaign around it does not correspond to the allies' relations between our countries and might influence the schedule of Russian-Belarusian political contacts. It was underlined that Moscow demanded the release of the Russian citizen and explanations regarding the incident," the diplomat said.

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