MOSCOW, August 30 (RAPSI) - Vladislav Baumgertner, Chief Executive Officer of OAO Uralkali, the world's largest potash producer, has been officially charged with abuse of power and official misconduct, lawyer Alexei Basistov told RAPSI.

Baumgertner was detained in Minsk Monday and charged with abuse of power, according to the Investigative Committee of Belarus. According to the Belarusian authorities, the criminal case was launched as the result of a probe into abuse of power allegations that led to grave damage to the public interests of Belarus, and damages to Belarusian Potash company.

Uralkali reacted swiftly, blaming Belarus authorities for the incident. "We are suprised with what has happened and consider it a provocation," PRIME business news agency quoted Uralkali representative Alexander Babinsky as saying.

The Belarusian law limits the period of investigation into the criminal case to two months, however it may be further prolonged at any time if necessary.