19 January 2018, Friday, 6:40

Putin's Chief of Staff: Blackmail doesn't work with Russia


The Kremlin has no doubts that the situation with arrested Uralkali CEO will be solved without accident.

The statement was made by Sergei Ivanov, the Chief of Staff of Russia's Presidential Executive Office, in an interview with Gazeta.ru. Journalists asked him about the arrest of Vladislav Baumgertner in Minsk.

“What will happen to the Customs Union after the Uralkali story?” they asked.

“Nothing. Belarus has been and will continue to be a member of the Customs Union. As for the story you mentioned, I think the matter will be settled favourably for Russia. Blackmail doesn't work with Russia,” Sergei Ivanov said.

Vladislav Baumgertner, the chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Belarusian-Russian Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), was arrested in Minsk on August 26 and placed into KGB jail on accusations of abuse of power.

On September 16, deputy prosecutor general of Russia Alexander Zvyagintsev said that Belarus took a decision to sever Russian citizens involved in the criminal case and file their case to the Russian Prosecutor General's Office.

Lukashenka said at a meeting to discuss the current economic issues and foreign policy on September 19 that Baumgertner could be extradited to Russia for carrying out investigative procedures.

Yuri Ushakov, the aide to the Russian president, said on September 20 that the Kremlin expected Uralkali CEO to be extradited from Belarus, but the process “was dragged on”.

On September 21, Kommersant (Russia) informed with a link to own sources that the delay in Baumgertner's extradition was caused by Minsk's demand to continue criminal prosecution in Russia.

Uralkali CEO was reported last week to have been placed under house arrest. He is in a Minsk flat under surveillance of four KGB officers. Vladislav Baumgertner met with Russian diplomats and his parents.