BUSINESS

Belarus releases Uralkali CEO from jail, places him under house arrest

09/26/2013 03:51 EDT | Updated 11/25/2013 05:12 EST
MINSK, Belarus - Officials in Belarus have released the chief executive of Russian potash giant Uralkali from jail but placed him under house arrest.

Vladislav Baumgertner's lawyer Dmitry Goryachko said Thursday his client was released, exactly one month since his arrest, and taken to a rented apartment in Minsk under the surveillance of the KGB intelligence agency.

Uralkali pulled out of a trading venture with its partner in Belarus in July after accusing the government there of allowing the state-owned business to export potash independently. The withdrawal left Belarusian Potash Co. with virtually no qualified staff and raised fears of a price war.

Belarusian authorities arrested Baumgertner in August on suspicion of "abusing his powers" and issued an arrest warrant for a Russian billionaire who is the company's largest shareholder.