MOSCOW, August 30 (RAPSI) - Moscow has called on Minsk to release Vladislav Baumgertner, Chief Executive Officer of OAO Uralkali, the world's largest potash producer, President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov said Friday.

Meanwhile, as Moscow seeks Baumgertner's freedom, Minsk has warned of new criminal cases against Uralkali top management and shareholders.

According to Pavel Traulko, a representative of Belarus' Investigative Committee, proceedings against Russian billionaire and Uralkali shareholder Suleyman Kerimov may be initiated in the near future.

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 surprised 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.

The investigation and pending charges were reportedly motivated by the breach of a cooperation deal between Uralkali and Belaruskali through the Belarusian Potash Company.

Uralkali reviewed its sales strategy in July, at which point it opted to focus on production scale and quash its cooperation with the company Belarusian Potash as a result. Valery Kirienko, the CEO of the Belarusian potash giant, said the company was considering its legal options.