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Economy minister's resignation sends Ukraine into political crisis — parliament speaker

February 04, 2016, 12:00 UTC+3 KIEV

Ukrainian Economic Development and Trade Minister Aivars Abromavicius resigned after accusing the pro-presidential party of blocking reforms and of cronyism in appointing government officials

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Ukrainian Economic Development and Trade Minister Aivars Abromavicius

Ukrainian Economic Development and Trade Minister Aivars Abromavicius

© Maxim Nikitin/TASS

KIEV, February 4. /TASS/. Ukrainian parliamentary speaker Vladimir Groisman has acknowledged that the country has entered into a major political crisis.

"A few words about the events of the past few days. I believe that it is impossible to ignore the fact that we are sliding into a major political crisis. It will be impermissible to pretend nothing is happening. This is another challenge to the Ukrainian politicians and it requires an adequate response," Groisman told parliament on Thursday.

He urged the authorities to avoid using the crisis for "public relations purposes" and to try to find a way out.

"For this we should update the coalition agreement, draw up a clear action plan and reorganize the government accordingly. As the parliamentary speaker I am prepared to go ahead with consultations with all democratic political forces in order to devise such an action plan," he said.

Earlier, Ukraine’s Economic Development and Trade Minister Aivars Abromavicius tendered his resignation. He accused the authorities of corruption and of blocking reform

The news drew a negative response from the West. The ambassadors of the key EU countries, the US and Canada said they were disappointed with such a decision and urged the Ukrainian officials to brush aside petty differences and discard once and for all the selfish interests that stalled the country’s development for many decades. The US Department of State, too, urged Kiev to go ahead with reform and to put selfish interests aside.

Experts believe that Abromavicius’s decision to quit has triggered a major parliamentary and government crisis. They say resignation of the whole Cabinet, new parliamentary elections and a slump in confidence towards the entire vertical chain of command would be the worst outcome. But there is another option - a transparent investigation of all issues. Political scientist Vadim Karasyov is certain that Abromavicius' resignation indicates that a big internal and external game is underway over the likely resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers and a new composition of the government."

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