“I consider the detention of Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner in Minsk on 26 August to be an outrageous act.
Economic disputes and various differences which often arise in the course of business should not be dealt with in such a manner.
I know Vladislav Baumgertner to be an honest and very decent law-abiding citizen, as well as a world-class professional.
The statements from the Belarusian authorities with respect to supposed illegality perpetrated by Belarusian Potash Company (“BPC”) management look highly irregular. The related allegations contradict common sense and would not stand up to scrutiny.
I would like to point out that the Advisory Board of BPC chaired by Mr Baumgertner is an overseeing body which convenes only a few times a year. The Chairman of the Advisory Board has no authority to be abused.
The de-facto head of BPC is its General Director, who has always been nominated by the Belarusian side.
Several weeks ago BPC’s General Director was appointed to one of the highest official positions in Belarus, i.e. deputy head of the President’s administration. I assume this indicates that the results of BPC’s activities and the Company’s operations are highly regarded by the officials at the highest level of Belarusian government.
In light of the above, accusations of abuse of power against Vladislav Baumgertner look simply absurd.
As Uralkali’s Chairman of the Board, I insist on the immediate release of Mr Baumgertner and the cessation of the legal pursuit of his colleagues”.