Ukraine's prime minister resigns

In an impassioned speech, Yatsenyuk condemned Parliament for stalling on important legislation.
By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  July 24, 2014 at 12:45 PM
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KIEV, Ukraine, July 24 (UPI) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk abruptly resigned his position Thursday over Parliament's failure to pass energy and military funding bills.

The normally-calm Yatsenyuk was furious in addressing Parliament politicians who failed to pass a law liberalizing control of the country's energy pipelines.

"History will not forgive us. Millions of people made this revolution. We did not take the European choice but the 'heavenly hundred' and thousands of other Ukrainians did," Yatsenyuk said, a reference to those killed in demonstrations that deposed the previous, pro-Russian, president and brought a new government to Kiev.

"Our government now has no answer to the question; how are we to pay wages, how are we tomorrow morning going to send fuel for armored vehicles, how will we pay those families who have lost soldiers, to look after the army?"

His speech reinforced the impression, felt throughout Ukraine, that the government is slow to respond to dire events and needs.

Yatsenyuk's resignation came the day two political parties, Svoboda and Udar -- the latter of which is the party of former heavyweight boxing champion turned politician Vitaly Klitschko -- withdrew from the Parliament's majority coalition.

Although Ukrainian morale is low -- with government turmoil, a grinding conflict with pro-Russian separatists, and the ongoing controversy over the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17 in eastern Ukraine -- President Petro Poroshenko hailed the events of the day in Kiev.

A new election could purge what one politician called "Moscow agents" from Parliament. In a statement, Poroshenko said, "Society wants a full reset of state authorities." Ukraine has yet to install a full Parliament after former President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled in February.

Yatsenyuk will remain on the job until a new prime minister is chosen.

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