Ukraine plunges into crisis as PM resigns

Updated - November 16, 2021 06:16 pm IST

Published - July 25, 2014 02:09 am IST - Kiev

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (left) shakes hands with Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov after announcing his resignation.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (left) shakes hands with Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov after announcing his resignation.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigned on Thursday after his governing coalition collapsed, plunging the former Soviet State into political limbo. The news came hours after the coalition that had supported Mr. Yatsenyuk’s Fatherland party dissolved, a move that all coalition members had sought.

The Udar (Punch) party of former heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko and the radical nationalist Svoboda party of Oleh Tyahnybok called for fresh elections as they withdrew from the coalition.

Mr. Yatsenyuk said his resignation comes in response to parliament’s failure to pass legislation that would have eased the country’s gas dependency on Russia.

“Today’s events in parliament will have dramatic consequences for the country,” say Mr. Yatsenyuk, referring to a failed bill which would have allowed foreign investors to partake in Ukraine’s gas transportation system.

Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman will head the government in the interim, announced Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

If no new governing coalition is formed within 30 days, President Petro Poroshenko can call new elections. Mr. Yatsenyuk said he would not consider any coalition with the Communists or the Party of Regions of former president Viktor Yanukovych, making any new coalition unlikely. Indeed, officials said they were working to ban the Communist Party.

Mr. Poroshenko, who won presidential elections on May 25, promised that parliamentary elections would be held this year. Ukrainians are expected to hit the polls on October 26.

Mr. Poroshenko’s other pledges were to engage in dialogue with separatists in the east and to sign a trade agreement with the EU, the rejection of which led to the ouster of his predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych, in February and paved the way for the widening unrest in the country.

Mr. Yanukovych was impeached by parliament in February after fleeing Kiev following three months of mass protests against his government.

Mr. Yatsenyuk’s government took over after Mr. Yanukovych fled the country.

However, Mr. Yatsenyuk’s government was unable to stop Crimea seceding from the country and joining the Russian Federation.

Its efforts to quell a separatist movement in eastern Ukraine have also been unsuccessful, amid suspicion that the separatists have support from Russia. But that fighting also raises questions about whether the vote will be able to proceed, should it be called.

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