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Putin and Lukashenko to discuss Uralkali issue at SEEC summit

October 24, 2013, 15:43 UTC+3

This issue had been previously discussed during a telephone conversation between the leaders of both countries

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MINSK, October 24 (Itar-Tass) - Presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, will discuss the Uralkali issue at the meeting due to take place later in the day, a source at the Russian delegation said on Thursday.

“The Uralkali issue will be in the focus of the presidents,” the source said, adding the talks would touch on other bilateral issues.

Earlier, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said the situation around Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner would be discussed by the presidents at the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (SEEC) summit.

“We expect the meeting to be intensive,” Ushakov said, adding that this issue had been discussed during a telephone conversation between the leaders of both countries.

Uralkaliy said on July 30 it was ending the exports of fertilizers via the Belarusian Potash Company — joint venture between Uralkaliy and the Belaruskaliy state enterprise. August 26, Baumgertner was detained in Minsk after talks with Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich.

He was taken to custody in connection with the criminal cases instituted by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Belarus. Later on, the Belarusian authorities released Baumgertner from jail, placed him under house arrest and redefined the charges from “abuse of occupational duties and powers” to “embezzling”.

In the meantime, Russia’s Investigations Committee plans to file a request for Baumgertner’s return to Russia where he and the former First Deputy Director General of the Belarusian Potash Company, Konstantin Solodovnikov are suspected the offenses that inflicted heavy damage on the latter company and Belaruskaliy.

A Moscow court has issued an authorization to arrest both Baumgertner and Solodovnikov.

Lukashenko told editors-in-chief from CIS countries Belarus might hand Baumgertner over to Russia after Minsk received compensation for the damage it assessed at $ 1.5 billion to $ 2.0 billion.

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