Belarus’ KGB Accused of Abduction Attempt in ‘Potash War’

MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) – An ongoing effort to improve the soured Russian-Belarusian relations came under threat this week after reports that Belarus secret police tried to arrest a Russian citizen in downtown Moscow.

Igor Evstratov was apprehended by four men as he was boarding a train to St. Petersburg, a source at Russian potash producer Uralkali told Prime news agency.

Evstratov was a senior executive at Belaruskali before Uralkali terminated a cartel with the Belarusian fertilizer maker last summer.

Evstratov was freed by Russian police after a well-timed shout for help as he was being led away, news website said Friday.

But no charges followed against the men, who said they were operatives of the Belarusian KGB, the report said.

The Foreign Ministry in Moscow made no comment as of Sunday.

Belarusian KGB called the incident a “provocation,” Russian media said.

In August, Belarus arrested Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner in Minsk and charged him with abuse of office over the cartel’s termination. Evstratov and three others were placed on a wanted list.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended an international summit in Minsk on Friday in an indication of thaw in bilateral relations.

Belarusian KGB was accused of detaining in Moscow in 2010 a radical anarchist who was later jailed in Minsk.


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