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Ukrainian Prime Minister Tenders Resignation

April 10, 2016

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has announced his resignation in a televised address.

"I took the decision to resign as prime minister of Ukraine," Yatsenyuk said on April 10 in comments aired on Ukrainian television channels.

"On Tuesday, April 12, I will submit it to parliament," he said.

He added that his decision was based on several reasons, saying "the political crisis in the government has been unleashed artificially, the desire to change one person has blinded politicians and paralyzed their will to bring about real changes in the country."

Yatsenyuk said his resignation is to be immediately followed by the formation of a new government.

"The parliamentary faction of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc has nominated Volodymyr Hroysman to the post of prime minister," he said. "Having done everything to ensure stability and continuity of our course, I declare my decision to transfer the obligations and responsibilities of the head of government of Ukraine."

Yatsenyuk said his country should not allow the "destabilization of the executive branch during a war."

"This would be inevitable, if after this resignation a new government of Ukraine is not selected immediately," he added.

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and fomented a separatist revolt in Ukraine's east.

In an interview with RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Oleksiy Honcharenko , deputy head of the parliamentary faction of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, expressed confidence that a new prime minister would be chosen next week.

"Yatsenyuk can remain as acting [premier] if we [don't manage] to elect a new prime minister. And I'm sure we can do it on Tuesday [April 12]; the new head of the government will be elected," Honcharenko said.

When asked whether he had Hroysman in mind, he said: "Yes, that's about him."

"This would resolve the political crisis, " he added.

"I am 99.9 percent certain that Hroysman will become the new premier," another Poroshenko party member, Vadym Denysenko, said in televised comments.

Yuriy Pavlenko, a member of the parliamentary faction Opposition Bloc, said Yatsenyuk's resignation was "expected and predictable."

"It was clear that this government, which does not enjoy any public support or the support of the Parliament, cannot [last]. Yatsenyuk failed economic policies, "Pavlenko told RFE/RL's Ukrainian service.

He added that early parliamentary elections are the only way out of the political crisis.

Yatsenuyk came to power in 2014 with the promise that he would tackle corruption and bring about economic reforms. But he has been himself facing accusations of economic corruption.

Yatsenyuk survived a no-confidence vote on February 16.

The vote came after Ukrainian President Poroshenko asked Yatsenyuk to step down "in order to restore trust in the government."

Opinion polls have been showing a growing disenchantment among Ukrainians with the pro-Western government that took power following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, a Kremlin ally, in February 2014.

The White House said that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Yatsenuyk had spoken over the phone and agreed that economic reforms undertaken by Ukraine must be irreversible.

"The leaders agreed these changes must be irreversible and that continued progress is critical to securing a prosperous future for the people of Ukraine, "the White House said in an April 10 statement.

"The leaders also agreed on the importance of assembling a new cabinet committed to implementing needed reforms, in particular those recommended by the International Monetary Fund and European Union," the statement added.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service correspondent Olga Komarova, Reuters, AFP, TASS, and the BBC

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/ukraine-prime-minister -yatsenyuk-resigns/27665474.html

Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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