Monday, April 11, 2016

Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to resign

April 11, 2016 (BBC Europe) The Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, has announced he will resign next week, blaming politicians' failure to enact "real changes". Mr Yatsenyuk, in office since former pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in February 2014, said he would inform parliament on Tuesday. The current President, Petro Poroshenko, asked him to quit in February, saying he had lost support. His government has been accused of inaction and corruption. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has threatened to withhold aid money if it does not carry out reforms.
Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Groysman has been nominated by President Poroshenko's party to replace Mr Yatsenyuk. US Vice-President Joe Biden, in a call to Mr Yatsenyuk on Sunday, congratulated him on "accomplishments over the past two years", including economic reforms, but said "these changes must be irreversible".

Mr Yatsenyuk came to power promising to tackle corruption and implement economic reforms but has increasingly become the focus of accusations of corruption, even though no concrete evidence was produced. Western governments have expressed concern over the resignation of reform-minded figures from the government. President Poroshenko himself came under scrutiny this week after leaked documents suggested he had set up an offshore company as a tax haven using Panamanian legal firm Mossack Fonseca. He said he had done nothing wrong and Ukrainian prosecution officials said there was no evidence of a crime but there were calls for his impeachment.