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Ukraine PM offers to resign after leak of audio recording

Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk reacts after lawmakers voted to remove a ban on the sale of farmland, at the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine November 13, 2019.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk reacts after lawmakers voted to remove a ban on the sale of farmland, at the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine November 13, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

He is heard criticising President Zelenskiy in the tape.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk offered his resignation on Friday after an audio recording suggested he had criticised the President, but then appeared to indicate that he might keep his job.

Speculation over Mr. Honcharuk’s position has grown this week after a recording of a man discussing President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s purported lack of knowledge of economics was circulated on messaging channels, apparently at a meeting of the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) in December.

Mr. Zelenskiy is a former comic actor who had no political experience when he swept to power in an election last year on the back of public anger over high-level corruption. Mr. Honcharuk said on Friday the recording had been doctored and was made up of different fragments of what had been said at government meetings.

Mr. Zelenskiy asked law enforcement agencies to determine who was involved in making the recording and how to prevent such incidents from occurring in future.

Mr. Honcharuk announced his resignation in a message on Facebook where he also praised Mr. Zelenskiy as “a model of openness and decency”.

Mr. Honcharuk appeared in Parliament later on Friday and reaffirmed his respect for the President, adding that Ukraine must remain united in the face of what he called information attacks and manipulations.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 2:49:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/ukraine-pm-submits-resignation-letter-president-to-consider-it/article30584702.ece

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