Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

Resignation of Ukraine's Lithuanian Economy Minister Plunges Ukrainian Government into Yet Another Crisis

Abromavicius' resignation could herald a collapse of the Kiev regime 

The resignation of Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius has shaken the fragile balance in Ukrainian politics and could herald a collapse in the government of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Kyiv's politicians have already been negotiating changes to the government for several weeks. The general logic of a reshuffle is rather simple: Yatsenyuk must stay as prime minister, but there must be "fresh blood" in the government. This formula was agreed upon after the visit of US Vice President Joe Biden, who opposed dismissing the PM in order to maintain the balance of power between the president and the government.

The negotiations have already triggered several moves. A few days ago, the Samopomich (Self Reliance) party withdrew its minister (Agriculture Minister Oleksiy Pavlenko) from the government. Earlier, Infrastructure Minister Andrii Pivovarsky announced his resignation, citing a lack of changes in the way the government was functioning, and the way many of his decisions were being blocked. Yet Ambromavicius's resignation and how he announced it could be a real game-changer for many politicians and a final nail in the coffin of the Yatsenyuk government.

First and foremost, Abromavicius is one of the faces of Ukrainian reform and one of the most successful ministers. He and Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko (another foreign-born outsider) were always referred to as success stories. Being responsible for the Ukrainian economy, Abromavicius was involved in all the negotiations with foreign partners. His resignation is a huge credibility blow for Ukraine in the eyes of the International Monetary Fund, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Commission and EU member states.

Investors too are worried: immediately after Abromavicius's resignation, the price of Ukrainian Eurobonds slumped, with yields on the dollar-denominated bond maturing 2019 up 43 basis points to 10%,

Secondly, the reason for his departure casts a cloud over the whole governing coalition. The failure to launch reforms was a conscious decision and not dictated by war, as the authorities have been claiming. The government and the president who had promised a war against corruption, who gained power from the Euromaidan protests with the promise to change the system and stop corruption, in the end decided to benefit from corruption mechanisms, not to fight them. What was only discussed and suspected before, has now been confirmed by a top official.

Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

Our commenting rules: You can say pretty much anything except the F word. If you are abusive, obscene, or a paid troll, we will ban you. Full statement from the Editor, Charles Bausman.