Ukraine’s economy minister Aivaras Abromavicius has resigned claiming senior figures within the government of President Petro Poroshenko attempted to block moves to introduce reform and end widespread corruption.
Abromavicius is much admired in Europe and the US for his strong stance against profiteering in the defence and energy sectors: “My team and I have no desire to be a screen for brazen corruption or puppets for people who want to take control over state funds in the style of the old government,” he said in his resignation speech.
He pointed the finger at MP Igor Kononeko, a close ally of Poroshenko, saying he attempted to force him to appoint deputies against his will to ensure the flow of money from state contracts continued to fall into the ‘right hands.’
Kononeko said he would cooperate fully with the probe instigated by Abromavicius.
The latest controversy is a blow to Poroshenko’s Western backed government after the EU and US have made repeated calls for an end to corruption in the country.
Our correspondent in Kyiv Dmytro Polonsky said:“The parliamentary coalition is close to splitting and could hasten parliamentary elections, perhaps as early as September.”