Economy minister Aivaras Abromavicius resigned on February 3, becoming the third reform-minded minister to quit the Ukrainian government in less than two months. At a hastily arranged news conference in Kyiv, the Lithuania-born former investment banker blamed President Petro Poroshenko’s business partner and lawmaker Ihor Kononenko for prompting the resignation.
“These people have names,” Abromavicius said. “I will say one of these names – Ihor Kononenko.” According to the outgoing minister, Kononenko, who is deputy head of Poroshenko’s parliamentary faction, was jostling for control over numerous state-owned enterprises under the Economy Ministry’s purview.
Kononenko has come under repeated allegations of misconduct in his parliamentary role. Former Security Service chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko accused Kononenko in October 2015 of illegally profiting from services provided to the president. Kononenko had rejected the allegations and Nalyvaichenko was subsequently dismissed after making the accusations.
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