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Kerimov 'Demands Influence' in Dagestan in Exchange for Uralkali Stake

Billionaire Suleiman Kerimov has reportedly asked for "influence" in his native Dagestan as a non-monetary reward in addition to the cash that he expects to be paid for his stake in Russian potash producer Uralkali.

Individuals close to the negotiations said that the Kremlin, which is said to be brokering the deal, will not accept this condition, and that if Kerimov insists on it any offer for the repurchase of his shares would only get worse.

Kerimov's political and financial influence in Dagestan has been on the decline since Kremlin-supported Ramazan Abdulatipov was appointed acting head of the republic in January.

Abdulatipov has gradually installed his own administration, dismissing officials close to Kerimov and handing development projects to his own allies.

Various media reported in September that Kogan was to buy Kerimov's 21.75 percent share in Uralkali, since Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko stated that a change in ownership of Uralkali was key to resolving the case of Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner, who is under house arrest in Minsk.

Baumgertner is accused of causing economic damage to Belarus, as part of a trade dispute between Moscow and Minsk, sparked by Uralkali's withdrawal from trade cartel with Belarusian potash producer Belaruskali in July.

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