MOSCOW, September 17 (RAPSI) – Basmanny District Court of Moscow on Wednesday released former CEO of world’s largest potash producer Uralkali, Vladislav Baumgertner, on 15 million ruble ($387,000) bail, the court told RAPSI.
Baumgertner was detained in Belarus last August and charged with abuse of power. The charges against Baugertner in Belarus followed a July decision by Uralkali to dissolve its international cartel with Belaruskali, sending potash prices spiraling down.
Baumgertner and Uralkali deny any impropriety. The company announced in late December that it was replacing him as CEO, though he remains on the board. That decision came days after billionaires Mikhail Prokhorov and Dmitry Mazepin completed their purchase of almost half the potash giant's shares.
The buy-out of the stakes owned by another billionaire, Suleiman Kerimov, and his partners was seen as potentially easing the tensions between the Russian and Belarusian companies.
Kerimov, Russia’s 20th-richest person with a fortune of $7.1 billion according to Forbes Magazine, is wanted for abuse of power and official authority, BelTA reported, citing Belarus’ Investigative Committee. Like Baumgertner, the charges against Kerimov are linked to his involvement in the Belarus Potash Company, the trading firm jointly owned by Belaruskali and Uralkali through which all their potash exports were channeled prior to the split.