21 January 2018, Sunday, 17:21

Belarus to hand over part of investigation against Uralkali executives to Russia

The Investigative Committee of Belarus on Friday announced plans to hand over part of its investigation against executives representing potash producer Uralkali to the Russian authorities.

A spokesman for the Investigative Committee told BelaPAN that Russia would receive 19 volumes of the case file that focus on the suspects' actions that harmed Russia's interests.

The spokesman also said that the Investigative Committee had updated the accusations against Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner and other suspects in the case as new evidence had recently been obtained and new circumstances had come to light.

Mr. Baumgertner was arrested on August 26 as he was about to fly out of Minsk after a meeting with Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich.

The Investigative Committee said after the arrest that Mr. Baumgertner, who chaired the supervisory board of Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), was suspected of power abuse and so were four other Russian executives who combined their duties in BPC and Uralkali. They include Oleg Petrov, a member of the BPC's supervisory board; Konstantin Solodovnikov, first deputy director general; Igor Yevstratov, deputy director general; Dmitry Samoilov, head of the freight department, and "other people."

A few days later, Belarusian authorities instituted criminal proceedings against Russian billionaire and Uralkali's top shareholder Suleiman Kerimov.

The case is linked to Uralkali's July 30 decision to de facto quit BPC, its joint trading arm with Belarusian potash giant Belaruskali. Minsk claims that the collapse of the Belarusian-Russian potash sales cartel has caused severe economic damage to Belarus.