Belarus extradites potash CEO to Russia: official

22nd November 2013, Comments 0 comments

Belarus on Friday extradited the detained chief executive of Russian potash giant Uralkali to Russia, easing tensions with Moscow after his arrest in Minsk caused a rare crisis between the two neighbours.

Vladislav Baumgertner, who had been under house arrest in Minsk, arrived in Moscow on a flight from Belarus and is being detained in a Moscow detention centre, a spokeswoman for the Russian prison service said.

"Vladislav Baumgertner has been extradited to Russia and is being kept in one of Moscow's pre-trial detention centres," prisons service spokeswoman Kristina Belousova was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

Baumgertner had been arrested in Minsk on August 26, hours after meeting the Belarussian prime minister, and charged with abuse of authority over an alleged scam to enrich himself and other executives.

The company has insisted he is innocent and suggested the arrest was linked to Baumgertner's decision to end sales cooperation with Belarus which infuriated the ex-Soviet state's mercurial President Alexander Lukashenko.

Russia had initially protested to Minsk over the arrest of Baumgertner but tensions eased when he was moved to house arrest and Belarus agreed that he could be tried at home.

© 2013 AFP

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