U.S. looking into whether Belarusian potash miner evaded sanctions – WSJ

The U.S. is looking into a request by two senators to investigate whether JSC Belaruskali is evading trade sanctions, a move that could stop the push into the U.S. by the world’s biggest potash miner, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The U.S. senators from New Mexico, where several potash miners operate, asked Treasury officials to examine whether the Belarusian miner’s sales of the fertilizer ingredient in the U.S. are skirting sanctions imposed in 2007.

Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich want an investigation into whether Belaruskali avoided sanctions by splitting off from Belneftekhim, a Belarus state-owned petrochemical company sanctioned in 2007 for what the Treasury said were its connections to Belarusian President Lukashenka.

The U.S. issued sanctions against Belarusian companies and individuals in 2007 as a result of ‘human rights abuses related to political oppression’ in Belarus, the Treasury said. U.S. citizens are typically prohibited from dealing with a sanctioned individual or company, whose assets are frozen.

In March 2014 the Belarusian government separated Belaruskali from Belneftekhim, citing an intention to directly tun the enterprise.

www.belsat.eu/en/, via Alistair Macdonald, WSJ

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