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Several Ukrainian ministers change mind on resignation

The ministers decided to stay for the sake of reforms.

Several Ukrainian ministers change mind on resignation
Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Photo: Serhiy Nuzhnenko

Agrarian Policy Minister Oleksiy Pavlenko, Information Policy Minister Yuriy Stets, Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili and Infrastructure Minister Andriy Pyvovarskyy have called off their resignations.

They announced this at an extraordinary meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers late on 4 February.

At the beginning of the meeting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk complained about pressure being put on the Cabinet of Ministers and said that he would no longer allow it.

The ministers took the floor and announced they were calling off their resignation requests.

"First, I object to destructive political pressure on the process of reforms by both parties, factions and certain MPs. Second, I will insist on the completion of all the launched processes in deregulation, food security, land reform and transparent agrarian privatization," Pavlenko said.

"I want to bring it home to all government officials in Ukraine that only dialogue with society can give us a chance to ensure Ukraine's integrity and save the state. All public offices should hold their meetings publicly. Representatives of all public offices, including those sitting here, must report on the performance of their offices in public," Stets said.

"I do not want to leave things half-finished. This year alone we have prevented the theft of millions of hryvnyas, hundreds of millions of hryvnyas by handing purchases over to international organizations. I do not want to abandon this," Kvitashvili said. He demanded that the bills on medical reform, which had been gathering dust in parliament for seven months now, be adopted.

"Today we have a situation when Aivaras's [Abromavicius, the minister of economic development and trade] statement has sent in motion certain centrifugal forces which should absolutely be used for the benefit of Ukraine. After a long discussion with my colleagues, I am ready to publicly announce that I am calling off my resignation," he said.

However he added that the ministers must be paid a fair salary and that any procurement must be done through transparent tenders.

President Petro Poroshenko told the ambassadors of G7 and the EU on 4 February that the reformers and their teams should keep their government posts.