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Baumgertner Extradition Possible After Compensation Paid

Russian businessman Vladislav Baumgertner
MINSK -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says the chief executive of Russian potash producer Uralkali can be extradited to Russia only after compensation is paid.

Talking to journalists on October 21, Lukashenka said Vladislav Baumgertner, a Russian citizen, can be extradited if Minsk is reimbursed for the damage inflicted on the Belarusian economy by Baumgertner's "illegal activities."

Lukashenka estimated those damages at $100 million.

On October 21, a court in Moscow issued an arrest warrant for Baumgertner, who has been charged in absentia in Russia with abuse of power.

Russia's Investigative Committee said on October 21 that it would seek Baumgertner's extradition.

In July, Uralkali pulled out of a joint venture with a Belarusian potash firm, causing a row between Russia and Belarus.

Belarus arrested Baumgertner in Minsk in August and charged him with abuse of office.

The charges were later changed to embezzlement.
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