Reaction to a resignation statement moved by Aivaras Abromavicius Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine on February 3, 2016.
”Today, I decided to tender my resignation as the Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine.” This was the beginning of Aivaras Abromavicius morning breaking statement that raised waves not only in Ukrainian politics, but in diplomatic circles far away from Ukraine. He also admits, that any kind of systemic reform is decisively blocked. It is more than the mere lack of support or political will. Aivaras Abromavicius thinks these are concrete actions aiming to paralyse Ukrainian reform efforts.
Right after that, Ambassador of Canada Roman Waschuk, Ambassador of the Republic of France Isabelle Dumont, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany Christof Weil, Ambassador of Italy Fabrizio Romano, Ambassador of Japan Shigeki Sumi, Ambassador of Lithuania Marius Janukonis, Ambassador of Sweden Andreas von Beckerath, Ambassador of Switzerland Guillaume Scheurer, Ambassador of the United Kingdom Judith Gough and Ambassador of the United States of America Geoffrey R. Pyatt published mutual statement on the resignation of Aivaras Abromavicius.
Ambassadors admit that during the past year, Abromavicius and his professional team have made important strides – implementing necessary economic reforms to help stabilize Ukraine’s economy, root out corruption, bring Ukraine into compliance with its IMF program obligations, and promote more openness and transparency in government.
In the afternoon, National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine opens criminal investigation against Ihor Kononenko, top official mentioned by Aivaras Abromavicius among individuals that are scheming to pursue their own interests behind Minister’s back.
To remind, Igor Kononenko is a Deputy of the President Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc in Ukrainian Parliament, and moreover is one of his key business partners.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s reaction on Abromavicius statement was the following: some Minister’s resignation announcement looks like “escape from the battlefield”.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said in his statement that Abromavicius had recognised the support the president had given him.
In the meantime, various western media published materials on Ukrainian Minister resignation statement. Thus, Reuters thinks Ukraine economy minister quits in blow to reform hopes. BBC admits Ukraine Minister Abromavicius quits over corruption. Bloomberg informs that Ukraine bonds slide as Minister exit exposes risks to stability. The Washington Post states that in blow to Ukraine’s reform hopes, top official resigns, citing corruption. Euronews reports Ukraine’s economy minister resigns saying he has ‘no desire to be a screen for brazen corruption’.
Finally, well-known economist Anders Aslund who knows Ukraine well, has published a ground piece on Abromavicius resignation. Ukraine risking loss of IMF, EU and US support, he concludes.
Anyway, Aivaras Abromavicius resignation caused tension in President Poroshenko’s, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s teams, among the Ambassadors to Ukraine, in the Parliament and far from Ukraine politics as well.
The story is not finished yet. It’s not just internal Ukrainian business anymore. EMPR will keep our readers informed on forthcoming updates.
UDP: Highlights from the first interview with Aivaras Abromavicius after his scandal resignation announcement is available here.