Belarussian KGB Accused of Abduction Attempt in Potash Dispute

An ongoing effort to improve soured Russian-Belarussian relations has come under threat after reports that Belarussian secret police tried to arrest a Russian citizen in downtown Moscow.

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

Yevstratov was a senior executive at Belaruskali before Uralkali terminated a sales cartel with the Belarussian fertilizer maker in July.

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

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

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

Belarussian KGB called the incident a "provocation," Russian media said.

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

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

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

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