* Chemezov could become chairman if elected - sources
* Uralkali shareholders to elect new board on March 24
(Adds details, context)
MOSCOW Feb 24 Sergei Chemezov, the head of
Russian state conglomerate Rostec and a powerful ally of
President Vladimir Putin, may join the board of world No.1
potash producer Uralkali and could become its chairman, two
sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Chemezov, Putin's colleague during his posting with the KGB
security service in East Germany in the 1980s, has built up a
state-owned empire that includes the world's biggest titanium
maker, Russia's largest carmaker, and one of the world's biggest
"He (Chemezov) has been nominated (to Uralkali's
board)," one of the sources said.
Both sources said Chemezov could become board chairman if
elected. They did not say who had nominated him.
The nomination follows a change in Uralkali's ownership in
Russian tycoon-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov and
businessman Dmitry Mazepin's Uralchem took control of a
47-percent stake in Uralkali after the company sparked by
political row by quitting a trading alliance with Belarus that
controlled 40 percent of the global potash market.
Uralkali shareholders are due to elect a new board of
directors at a meeting in Berezniki, in the region of Perm, on
March 24. Alexander Voloshin, a former Kremlin chief of staff,
is currently Uralkali board chairman.
Rostec was interested in a stake in Uralkali when Prokhorov
and Mazepin were holding negotiations to buy a holding, sources
familiar with the matter told Reuters at the time. Rostec would
serve as a "minder" for the Kremlin if it was brought into the
deal, one of the sources had said.
Chemezov joined the board of Norilsk Nickel, the
world's largest nickel and palladium miner, last year after a
government-backed deal to end a long-running power struggle
between Norilsk's main owners.
Rostec, Uralchem, Prokhorov's investment vehicle Onexim and
Uralkali all declined to comment.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt and Gleb Stolyarov; Editing by
Jason Bush and Mark Potter)