The other cheek to Minsk

The mustached tyrant of Belarus is holding hostage the CEO of the Russian potash exporter, Uralkali. What does Lukashenko want? First, a change in Uralkali ownership; second, a revival of the Russo-Belarusian potash cartel. That’s how it seems, at least. I suspect there are top-tier Russian figures at play as well.

For the Kremlin has been pathetically indifferent to the fact that the CEO of a major, LSE-traded Russian company is sitting in a KGB jail in Minsk. Not just that but a company supplying roughly 20% of world potash demand. It’s an act of armed aggression in all but name.

If I were the Russian president, I’d send paratroopers to Minsk overnight, bring Lukashenko to Moscow and eventually ship him off to the International Court of Justice in the Hague. But nothing remotely like that is happening, which is why I suspect Minsk is acting in consort with someone influential people to the East.

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