The authorities in Belarus have arrested Vladislav Baumgertner, the head of Russia’s largest potash producer Uralkali.
Invited to Minsk for a meeting with the prime minister, he was then held and charged with abusing his position and official powers, an offence that carries a prison term of up to 10 years.
This comes just weeks after Baumgertner’s firm pulled out of a partnership known as the Belarus Potash Company.
That joint venture controlled more than 40 percent of the world’s exports of potash, which is one of the most-important ingredients in agricultural fertilisers.
The joint sales pact – some called it a cartel – kept a limit on production which pushed up prices. They are now forecast to fall as much as 25 percent in the second half of 2013.
Uralkali’s shares slipped 3.36 percent in Moscow, bringing its losses to about 27 percent since the Belarus Potash Company was dissolved.
Belarus is a close ally of Russia, but the surprise collapse of the potash partnership has strained relations between the two countries.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov was critical of the arrest and called it “rather strange and inappropriate”.
Potash is a valuable source of foreign currency for Belarus which has retained the Soviet economic model, with largely state control.
- 1Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin | euronews, world news
- 2Chomsky says US is world’s biggest terrorist | euronews, the global conversation
- 3euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 4Nepal: ‘equally big earthquakes coming in eastern regions,’ expert tells euronews | euronews, world news
- 5It’s a girl: Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge gives birth in London | euronews, world news
- 6How Nepal earthquake devastated Kathmandu’s UNESCO heritage | euronews, world news
- 7Chernobyl Children: what makes Ukrainians born in 1986 different? | euronews, world news
- 8International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 9Exclusive: unrest in FYR Macedonia could hit other Balkan countries warns Serbian PM | euronews, world news
- 10International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 11Andrea Ferrari: the graphene guru | euronews, science
- 12Juncker to Hungarian PM Orban: “Hello, Dictator!”
- 13Portuguese language reform law goes global | euronews, world news
- 14EU membership remains Serbia’s priority, says PM Aleksandar Vucic | euronews, the global conversation
- 15Watch: France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen clashes with UKIP MEP Woolfe | euronews, world news
- 16Spain: the viral soldiers fighting in Madrid and Barcelona mayoral races | euronews, world news
- 17How young translators are helping knit European culture together | euronews, generation y
- 18Evidence of ancient wine found in Georgia a vintage quaffed some 6,000 years BC
- 19We will not be moved! China’s urban spread resistance [PHOTOS]
- 20How World War II shaped modern Poland | euronews, world news
Wires > Business
- 07:26 CET BlackBerry cuts jobs worldwide as it consolidates businesses
- 02:57 CET U.S. Justice Department finds criminal wrongdoing in GM ignition…
- 01:40 CET Shell CEO backs fossil fuels, climate change warnings – Guardian
- 23:35 CET Fed on track to hike rates as economic headwinds wane – Yellen
- 21:05 CET Germany, France usher Greece back to negotiating table
- 20:06 CET Bank of England’s Haldane says UK rates to rise at some point
- 18:17 CET BNP Paribas eyes cost cuts at UK global markets business – source
- 17:36 CET BoE official says securitisation not a panacea for EU