Published: Fri, January 17, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

After criticising the President, Ukraine PM offers to resign after leaked recording

After criticising the President, Ukraine PM offers to resign after leaked recording

Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk announced his resignation on Friday, following a media leak, claiming he criticized the country's President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Honcharuk, the nation's youngest-ever prime minister, said the recordings were doctored from "snippets of government meetings".

"This content artificially creates the idea that my team and I do not respect the president", Mr. Honcharuk said in a statement on his Facebook page. "He is an example of transparency and decency to me", he said.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk (R) and Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov (L) attend a briefing in Kiev on January 8, 2020.

President Zelensky is understood to be considering the letter.

"Zelensky has a very primitive understanding of economic processes, or rather a simple understanding", Goncharuk reportedly said on the recording, adding that he himself was an economic "ignoramus".

It will be up to parliament to eventually consider the resignation and some criticised Goncharuk for sending his letter directly to the president.

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Honcharuk said that the recording was a compilation of "fragments of recorded government meetings" and blamed unidentified "influential groups" for making it look like he doesn't respect the president.

"Question is if Zelenskiy accepts it, would any credible reformer opt to sit in Honcharuk's place when the said govt session with the NBU was leaked, and Honcharuk was only being honest", he wrote on Twitter.

Timothy Ash, a London-based economist and expert on Ukraine, said the resignation offer was a "important test" for Zelensky.

"Seems likely Zelenskiy will reject it", said Tim Ash of BlueBay Asset Management about the letter of resignation.

The scandal shows that different political forces have started a fight for the position of prime minister, according to Fesenko, the political analyst.

In the meantime, Zelenskiy called for an investigation into the source of the recording, saying, "I demand that in two weeks, as soon as possible, we obtain information on who was recording the tapes".

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