The Russian government asked local fertilizer companies earlier this month to prepare a joint bid for Saskatchewan’s Potash Corp. that would rival BHP Billiton Ltd.’s $40 billion offer for the company. However, OAO Acron, Russia’s third-largest producer of nitrogen soil nutrients, has already said it won’t be following the Industry and Trade Ministry’s advice. “It’s absolutely senseless for Russia to spend $40 billion on acquiring Potash Corp.,” company chairman Alexander Popov told Bloomberg. “If the country has a spare $40 billion, it would be much more effective to put it into the Russian economy.” Ottawa is set to rule on BHP Billiton Ltd.’s offer on Wednesday. While there have been reports of rival bids Potash Corp. emerging from India, China, and Russia, none have materialized so far.