India is interested in buying a stake in “Belaruskali”
The Indian government has expressed its intention to invest in “Belaruskali” and waits for response from Belarus. The Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of India to Belarus Manoj Bharti said at a press conference, “Proposal of the Indian government has already been submitted and we are waiting for the Belarusian reaction”.
The Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of India to Belarus Manoj Bharti said at a press conference, “Proposal of the Indian government has already been submitted and we are waiting for the Belarusian reaction”.
India is the largest buyer of Belarusian fertilizers. Accordingly, the sale of shares to the buyer is not in the interests of the seller. For the Belarusian authorities it is important to show that bargaining for the enterprise continues. However prospects of selling it to non-Russian investors are vague, bearing in mind that “Sberbank” of Russia has taken as collateral for the $ 2 billion loan of 30% of the shares thereby having indirect control over the privatization of the enterprise. The annual foreign currency earnings of “Belaruskali” are about USD 2 billion, moreover it needs to attract new loans therefore neither “Belaruskali” nor the National Bank will not be able to return the loan to the Russian “Sberbank”. Respectively, the privatization of “Belaruskali” (albeit delayed) will be solely for the benefit of Russia. Russia estimated assets of “Belaruskali” at USD 10-15 billion, while Lukashenko at USD 30 billion. Sooner or later (2012-2013), both parties will reach a compromise.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.