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Uralkali Chief Baumgertner Moved To House Arrest In Belarus

Potash executive Vladislav Baumgertner
Authorities in Belarus have placed the chief executive of the Russian potash giant Uralkali, Vladislav Baumgertner, under house arrest, moving him from the prison where he had been held since his arrest in August.

Baumgertner, a Russian citizen, has been charged by Belarusian authorities with abuse of office.

Russia has demanded his extradition.

Baumgertner's Russian lawyer, Alexei Basistov, said on September 26 that Baumgertner has been released to an apartment in Minsk but is under 24-hour surveillance by KGB officers.

He added that Baumgertner's mother has been allowed to visit her son.

Baumgertner was chairman of the Belarusian Potash Company (BKK), a now-defunct joint venture between Uralkali and a Belarusian potash firm, Belaruskali.

His announcement in July that Uralkali was leaving BKK led to a steep drop in the commodity's price, affecting the Belarusian economy.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS, AFP