Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Kerimov casts off potash business?

Belsat, following BelaPAN

Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov might have sold his stake in Uralkali to a Petersburg banker, lawyer Alexander Dobrovinsky said on his Facebook page last week.

"A very serious source told me this evening that Mr Suleiman Kerimov sold a large block of shares – if not all of his shares – in Uralkali to a certain banker K. [Kogan?] from St. Petersburg on Friday, September 6," news agency BelaPAN quoted him as saying.

"Of course, it is difficult to believe this, but the source is very credible and has never been wrong in the past," Mr Dobrovinsky noted.

However, today an executive representing Suleiman Kerimov's investment group Nafta Moskva has denied a report that the Russian billionaire sold his stake in Russian potash producer Uralkali. "The report is untrue," Russia's news agency Itar Tass reports referring to Managing Director Anton Averin.

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Vladislav Baumgertner, director general of Russian potash company Uralkali and chairman of the supervisory board of Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), was handcuffed at the airport on August 26, 2013. As Mr Baungertner was in Minsk on the personal invitation of Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Miasnikovich the arrest immediately escalated into an international scandal. He is accused of abuse of office under Article 424 of the Criminal Code.

The criminal case is apparently linked to Uralkali's July, 30 decision to stop exports through BPC, its joint trader with Belaruskali.

On September 2, 2013 The Belarusian Investigative Committee decided that Suleiman Kerimov, Uralkali’s major stockholder, was also subject to arrest. The Russian citizen was put on wanted list, an international arrest warrant also having been issued against him.