Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Belarus, Russia Remain Divided over Potash Business


By Sergei Blagov

Belarus’s leader has accused Russian tycoons of plotting to bribe him, and the accusations came as the latest twist in bilateral efforts to forge new potash business ventures.

On October 16, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka made a highly unusual claim that he was offered $5 billion in kickbacks by unspecified “Moscow oligarchs.” The anonymous Russian tycoons allegedly offered huge kickbacks (or “otkat” in Russian) in exchange for Minsk selling the country’s only potash producer and exporter, the state-owned Belaruskali, for $10 billion.

The Belarus strongman claimed that the “otkat” was offered by a Russian insider, described as “Misha.” Lukashenka further argued that Belaruskali’s actual price was estimated at $30-32 billion (http://m.interfax.by/news/belarus/118589).

The allegations, quite unusual even by Lukashenka’s colorful standards, followed prolonged attempts by Belarus and Russia to form new, joint potash businesses.

Back in 2005, Moscow and Minsk moved to create the Belarus-registered Belarus Potash Company (BPC). It is now co-owned by Russia’s potash producer Uralkali (50 percent), Belaruskali (45 percent) and Belarus Railways (5 percent).

In 2011, the BPC exported 12.9 million tons of potash, including 7.7 million tons from Belaruskali and 5.2 million tons from Uralkali. The BPC is estimated to account for nearly 40 percent of the global potash market.

In May 2012, Belarus and Russia decided to create a new joint venture, Soyuzkaliy, on a parity basis that would replace the BPC. The new entity would be registered in Switzerland, and it is expected to start operations in February 2013. However, Soyuzkaliy may not be able to start operations before Belarus and Russia agree on potash sales volumes and pricing policies.

Companies from Russia, China and India reportedly indicated interest in Belaruskali privatization. In July 2012, Lukashenka announced that Belaruskali’s controlling stake was not for sale, at least below $30 billion (http://www.regnum.ru/news/economy/1576051.html).

Lukashenka’s latest remarks, made during a meeting with Russian journalists, came as an affront to Moscow’s perceived insistence that Russian businesses should be given greater access to the process of privatization in Belarus. On July 18, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev urged the Belarusian government to expedite Belaruskali’s privatization (http://en.rian.ru/world/20120718/174670853.html). By floating these bribery allegations, Lukashenka apparently indicated his continued reluctance to allow Russian businesses to control key industrial assets in Belarus.

3 comments:

  1. Everest Base Camp Trekking often touted as one of the most beautiful of trekking trips in the whole world and rightly it is. Located at the lap of world's highest peak, Everest Base Camp (EBC) is rewarded as the best trip Nepal has to offer. Since 1920, Mt Everest has captivated intrepid men and women. There were some exploits of legends like Sir Edmund Hillary, George Mallory and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa to put the mighty mountains on the map. Thousands of adventurers followed them making huge sacrifices. EBC Trek is designed to fulfill the dream of many people to experience the historic route to the base of world's highest peak. Since the beginning, Everest Base Camp Route has gained massive popularity and a lot of appreciation. The highlights of Everest Base Camp Trekking are the stunning views of Mount Everest, legendary Sherpa culture, wonderful Namche Bazaar, Tengboche Monastery, the best viewpoint of Kalapatthar, and beautiful Chhukung valley among many others. We gradually ascend through the wonderful Sherpa villages enjoying the magnificent Himalayan scenery, wildlife and visit a number of Buddhist Monasteries. EBC Trek culminates with a fine opportunity to trek to both EBC and nearby peak of Kalapatthar (5545m) for spectacular views of the Everest. Savoring the high mountain views with the unique and life defining journey, EBC trip can be combined with Gokyo Chola Pass Trek, or Everest Three Passes packages as well, making the journey bit more challenging and rewarding too. Encounters Nepal has carefully devised an itinerary with a number of rest days that offers an exceptional way to acclimatize safely. Having had hit the Himalayan Trails since so long, we have learned never to rush a trek to altitude in the Himalaya. Taking an extra few days makes all the difference to really being able to enjoy the trek and trekking in Nepal.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Namaste from a Beautiful Himalaya Nepal
    Nepal Base Camp Treks is government register agency (licensed trekking guide team) in the Nepalese Himalayas Ranges… After working 18 years (since 1997) on the tough trails for several years as a mountain staff crew, and working so hard to develop our fluency in English languages, We became a guide in the year 2000 to 2002. We have spent the past 18 years as a professional Himalaya trekking guide, working for several Trek & Expedition companies in Kathmandu; we have now decided to work as an independent guide and self leading to provide all our national and international clients, who like to enjoy their Himalaya trekking holidays tour with us (www.nepalbasecamptreks.com)
    In the last 18 years working experiences, our team have become very well-known with many Trekking Destinations throughout the country, this includes: The Everest Base Camp Treks, Annapurna Regions and Langtang Valley Regions, As well as Upper Mustang Treks, Manaslu Circuit Treks, Annapurna Circuit Trek,Ganesh Himal Trek, Helambu and all non tourist regions. Our teams at Nepal Base Camp Treks have studied well the lay of the land & our knowledgeable about local flora and fauna, cultural history and environmental issues in the areas where we trek are absolutely sound today. Our guests truly appreciate our services. We are able to guide Trekkers hoping to climb high passes Chola, Renjo La, thorong La,Larke La, Kongma La and peaks, & can take them to show exclusive spots for any adventures across the Himalayas. Nepal Base Camp Treks experience also covers the well known peaks of Mera Peak climbing , Island Peak Climbing,Lobuje Peak Climbing, Phakchhermo Peak, Pisang Peak, Tent Peak Kalapathar Peak & Gokyo Peak, and we have led expeditions across many high passes in Nepal, covers some famous mountains: Manaslu Circuit Larke Pass, Ampu-lapcha Pass, Makalu sherpani col Pass, east col Pass, west col Pass, Chola Pass, Renjula Pass, Rolwaling Tashilapcha Pass, Ganjala Pass, Ganesh himal Pangsang Pass, Thorong Pass and Tilicho Pass…ON THE WAY, AFTER ALL THE TRIALS & HARDSHIPS…THE BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS…we are now an accomplished guide team who helps our guests unleash the best experiences ever in High Himalaya and Wild Adventures under their feet
    Treks come in many forms on Nepal's rugged Himalayas: ranging from the relaxed easy trekking where you can experience Nepalese Culture and Village life,Chitwan,Dhulekhel,Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara Ghale Gaun, to tea-house trekking in popular regions, Annapurna, Everest, Lantang, to unique treks into areas of Nepal that are off the beaten path and seldom visited by foreigners or remote non-touristic area Tawal Village, Chitwan Chepang Hill. All treks offer superb scenery and viewpoints into Nepal's exotic ancient culture. With our kind of experience, we can tailor your treks to meet your conveniences in any way that's comfortable to you.
    Nepal Base Camp Treks (Pvt. Ltd.)
    Post Box: 10114, Bhagwati Bahal Mark, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
    Telephone: + 977-1-4436088. Mobile: +977-9851111874
    Email: sappayesnepal@gmail.com
    info@nepalbasecamptreks.com
    URL:- www.nepalbasecamptreks.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nepal Everest Base camp Treks' s heartily welcome to you. Nepal Everest Base Camp Treks Pvt. Ltd. was established as a successful result of decade’s long involvement and long experienced in Nepalese tourism industry. Having had experience of operating and leading wonderful adventure Trips in some of the most captivating vistas of Nepal Himalayas successfully. we have been providing service with interesting trekking packages. i.e. Everest Base camp trekking, Everest three pass trekking, Everest trekking, Annapurna base camp trekking, Annapurna circuit trekking, Annapurna ghorepani poon hill trekking, Ghorepani poon hill trekking, ghorepani ghandrunk trekking, khayera ridge trekking, Annapurna sanctuary trekking, Poon hill trekking, Annapurna Trekking, Manaslu trekking, Manaslu circuit trekking, Manaslu Tsum valley Trekking, Langtang valley Trekking,Langtang Tamang heritage Trekking,Langtang Gosainkunda pass Trekking,Helambu Trekking,Helambu cultural trekking,langtang Ganja la pass trekking,Upper mustang Trekking,Mustang Trekking,Jomsom muktinath trekking,Upper Dolpa Trekking, Ruby valley trekking,Ganesh himal trekking etc to several kind of recreation loving tourist destinations since 2005 however we are keen of promoting our company service therefore.
    Nepal Everest Base Camp Treks Pvt. Ltd.
    Saat Ghumti Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
    Mobile No:+977- 9841902116
    info@nepaleverestbasecamptreks.com
    anjan99nebct@gmail.com
    www.nepaleverestbasecamptreks.com

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.