17 January 2018, Wednesday, 2:07

Lukashenka’s advisor: Baumgartner’s freedom is worth more than $100 million


A pro-authorities political scientist believes that Uralkali should pay for the release of its director general.

This was the comment on the conflict between Minsk and Moscow over Belarusian Potassium Company (BPC) made by Siarhej Musienka, a member of Lukashenka administration’s Public Consultation Council, who is considered to be his personal advisor.

According to the official, the Belarusian party will, probably, be ready to release Baumgartner in exchange for compensation from Uralkali, Rosbalt reports.

“There are always pre-trial decisions, - he notes. – In my opinion, the investigations agencies will now attempt to claim a bigger damage. This is not a 100-million case. The management has lost more to the fall of stocks alone. I know the situation well, and there is, of course, more than one hundred million at stake. Shuvalov would have not intervened had that been the case”.

Siarhej Musienka also accused Uralkali’s top-manager Vladislav Baumgartner, arrested in Minsk the other day, of not discussing his company’s quitting BPC with the Belarusian partners.

“There is such a principle: when you have a joint 50-50 enterprise, you should sit down at a table and speak, - the political scientist said. – When the market collapse happened, no one seriously spoke with us. The same old Mr Baumgartner did not come with any delegation – neither extended, nor small – to speak with the partner”.

Siarhej Musienka expects that a new trading war will influence the international relations between Russia and Belarus, noting at the same time this conflict’s peculiarity.

“Our enterprise is state-owned, and yours is private, - the expert says. – Your private enterprise is being protected by the Prime Minister, vice-Prime Minister. They speak up. It is not common for Belarus. They do protect business here, but not so wildly. There are state interests, the state stands up for those, and there is a private interest”.

We would remind that on 26 August the public learnt that the director general of Uralkali Vladislav Baumgartner was detained in Minsk, suspected by Belarusian investigatory agencies of power abuse. Four BPC’s employees were proclaimed wanted by police, including Interpol. The reason for that were the materials claiming their committing explicit power abuse for mercenary motives, which allegedly brought about significant damage to state and public interests of Belarus, as well as especially large damage to Belaruskali and BPC.