Ukraine’s economy minister dramatically resigns, citing covert corruption

Ukrainian Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius quit on Wednesday saying his ministry was being hijacked by corrupt vested interests, dealing another blow to Western hopes that the country can reform itself. (Reuters)

His ministry’s reform efforts have been “paralyzed” by the “concrete actions” of certain officials and groups, Abromavicius said, adding that he has been pressured by the president’s administration to appoint “questionable individuals” to his team or to key positions in state-owned enterprises.  (Russia Today)

In his speech, Abromavičius pointed most of the blame on one man – Igor Kononenko. He is a Ukrainian MP and leading figure in the ‘Bloc of Petro Poroshenko’. After news broke of the economy minister’s resignation, he had this to say:

Ihor Kononeko, first deputy chairman in ‘Bloc of Petro Poroshenko’: “It’s kind of a weird statement for me because I haven’t seen Abromavičius since before the New Year. Then, he personally thanked me for our faction’s position when voting for transparency in public procurement. We’ve had positive developments during last year in state procurement and other draft laws from the doing business project but we still have problems and issues which are not resolved.” 

(Ukraine Today)

Western ambassadors were quick to issue statements supporting Abromavicius and his reform efforts. In a joint statement, ambassadors from 10 countries, including the U.S., U.K. and Canada, said they were “deeply disappointed” by his resignation. (International Business Times)