Global Outlook Minsk's decision to hook Mr Baumgertner at the airport makes more sense of a bizarre little spat between Mr Lukashenko and Mr Putin last month.
It all started when Mr Putin posed with a vast pike he claimed to have caught in Siberia weighing some 21kg. He described the beast as a "gigantic animal", although commentators reckoned it must have been made of granite to weigh so much.
Mr Lukashenko responded, taking to Belarusian state television to claim he had just landed a catfish weighing an even more unlikely 57kg. His deputy prime minister gushed the beast was "as long as I am tall."
Sadly there was no evidence for Mr Lukashenko's fishy claim. But it will have tweaked the Kremlin's tail just as the potash row was bubbling up to the surface.Reuse content