Deal Would Involve Returning Executive to Russia for Prosecution
MOSCOW—The president of Belarus hinted for the first time Thursday at a possible resolution in a cross-border fight over potash that has rocked global fertilizer markets, by suggesting he is open to the idea of sending the jailed chief executive of potash miner Uralkali URALL -5.90% back to Russia for prosecution there.
President Alexander Lukashenko’s softened tone comes as people close to the Russian company’s primary owner, Suleiman Kerimov, say the billionaire is in talks with several parties to sell his stake in the company, something the Belarusian government has named as a precondition to any settlement following the collapse of Uralkali’s potash-trading partnership with Belarus.
“There are two options,” Mr. Lukashenko said. “First is a civilized divorce. We are ready for that. If you go, then go, but do not interfere with our work here. We are ready to work on our own.
“The second option would be to continue to work together. For that, the owners must change and new people come in who are interested in producing potash. We are ready to work with them,” the president said.