Onexim, an investment firm which belongs to Mikhail Prokhorov, is on verge of buyng a stake in the world’s largest potash producer implicated in the high-profile scandal which Presidents of Belarus and Russia are also embroiled in.
In accordance with the firm’s statement, they are going to buy 21.75 percent of Uralkali from its major stockholder, billionaire Suleiman Kerimov.
It is curious that earlier Aliaksandr Lukashenka spoke against selling the stake to Mr Prokhorov.
Vladislav Baumgertner, director general of Russian potash company Uralkali and chairman of the supervisory board of Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), was handcuffed at the National airport of Belarus on August 26, 2013. As Mr Baumgertner was in Minsk on the personal invitation of Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Miasnikovich the arrest immediately escalated into an international scandal. At first he was accused of abuse of office under Article 424 of the Belarusian Criminal Code and put to ‘Amerykanka’, the KGB predetention centre. At the moment Mr Baumgertner is under home arrest in Minsk.
The criminal case is apparently linked to Uralkali’s July, 30 decision to stop exports through BPC, its joint trader with Belaruskali. Uralkali’s board decided on July, 29 that the company would export its fertilizers exclusively through a subsidiary trader called Uralkali Trading.
On September 2, 2013 The Belarusian Investigative Committee decided that Suleiman Kerimov was also subject to arrest.
According to the official data, ‘unlawful acts performed by Baumgertner and a number of other top managers have resulted in up to $100 loss suffered by Belaruskaliy and BPC’. The amount of damage might rise significantly, Pavel Traulka, Spokesman for the Investigative Committee, said.