UPDATE 1-Russia's Uralchem deputy chairman appointed Uralkali CEO

Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:34am EST

MOSCOW Dec 23 (Reuters) - The deputy chairman of fertiliser firm Uralchem, Dmitry Osipov, has been appointed as chief executive of Uralkali from Dec. 24, Uralkali said in a statement on Monday, confirming last week's information from sources.

The move follows a change in Uralkali's ownership last week. Russian tycoon-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov and businessman Dmitry Mazepin's Uralchem took control of a 47-percent stake in the world's largest potash producer.

The deals followed Uralkali's decision to quit a trading alliance with Belarus in July which controlled 40 percent of the $20 billion global market of the crop nutrient. The move triggered a plunge in the price of potash and infuriated Belarus, where the sliding price hit export earnings.

Uralkali's previous CEO, Vladislav Baumgertner, was detained in the country's capital of Minsk and charged with abuse of power and embezzlement in August. He remains under house arrest after his extradition to Moscow from Minsk.

"I would like to highlight that the decision to appoint a new CEO has been taken in connection with the recent changes in the composition of the major shareholders of the company," Alexander Voloshin, Uralkali board chairman, said in a statement on Monday.

"We continue to believe in his (Baumgertner's) innocence and hope that the existing problems will be resolved as soon as possible," he added.

Osipov, 47, was CEO of Uralchem from 2007 until 2011.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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