Last week, Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner was taken into custody after a meeting with the Prime Minister of Belarus. Now news comes that Uralkali's top shareholder, Suleiman Kerimov has also been targeted for arrest for abuse of power, and is facing the same 10 year sentence as Baumgertner.
Officials from Russia's Uralkali say the charges are fabricated and accuses Belaruskali of waging a media campaign to discredit Uralkali and its representatives. In a statement, Uralkali says, "The Company will not allow the unscrupulous statements of Belarusian authorities to discredit the name and business reputation of the Company, to injure the honor and dignity of its management, employees and shareholders, to mislead Belarusian and international community and to put pressure on the global customers base."
In the meantime, Uralkali says it will proceed with its high volume strategy to garner marketshare away from now competitor, Belaruskali. "The Company continues to pursue the announced strategy and believes that all disputes should be settled within the legal framework, without using force and politicizing the conflict. Uralkali will defend its interests in strict adherence to the applicable law – including the judicial means," the statement continued.