Ukraine P.M. resigns amid IMF talks

Dec. 3, 2012 at 5:01 PM
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KIEV, Ukraine, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Ukraine's prime minister resigned Monday amid talks with the International Monetary Fund, though he remains in an interim role until his successor is named.

Mykola Azarov quit following parliamentary elections and his resignation was accepted by President Viktor Yanukovych. When the country's new Parliament is seated in mid-December, it will first need to elect a speaker, then vote on a prime minister, the Kiev Post reported.

Azarov's spokesman said Azarov could be elected again, though political observers questioned how likely that would be given the incoming members of Parliament are expected to be less predictable than the outgoing class.

Reappointing Azarov is "getting less likely, though. It's illogical to dismiss him, then reappoint him," said Viktor Luhovyk, political analyst at Dragon Capital, an investment bank.

The political uncertainty comes as Azarov has undertaken negotiations with the IMF for a third round of international financial assistance to the struggling former Soviet bloc country. The IMF approved a $12.5 billion payment in 2008 under a two-year deal that was extended in 2010 and increased to $15 billion. That program expires this month and a replacement or extension is seen as key to avoiding a fiscal collapse, a Dragon Capital analyst's note to investors said.

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