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Published in Stream:
Day 746: March 4, 2016
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
US-Born Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko Reportedly Agrees To Replace Yatsenyuk
6 years
Nadezhda Savchenko Begins Dry Hunger Strike, Lawyers Say She Will Not Be Dissuaded
EU Extends Sanctions Against Former Ukrainian Leaders for Another Year

Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing "sources in the Presidential Administration," that finance minister Natalie Jaresko has provisionally agreed to accept the post of prime minister, replacing the beleaguered Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

American-born Jaresko is highly regarded not only in Ukraine but internationally, and her appointment would be seen as a victory for the reformist camp which has suffered this year from the departure of Aivaras Abromavicius, the economy minister, and deputy prosecutor general Vitaliy Kasko.

Ukrainska Pravda's Maria Zhartovskaya wrote this afternoon that leading figures in the government had been trying to persuade Yatsenyuk to resign, with the governing coalition collapsing after last month saw the withdrawal of both the Batkivshchyna and Sampomich parties.

Yatsenyuk narrowly survived a vote of no-confidence on February 16:

Zhartovskaya claims that prior to the departure of both parties from the coalition, Yatsenyuk had agreed to resign on the condition that Jaresko be appointed his successor. 

He agreed this, she says, with the belief that Jaresko would never accept the post and he would therefore be able to stay in office. Jaresko had already dismissed talk of assuming the premiership when Abromavicius resigned, naming her appointment as a condition of his return.

However the subsequent collapse of the coalition and growing anxiety among Ukraine's Western partners and the International Monetary Fund have made the situation all the more urgent. 

A source close to President Petro Poroshenko told Zhartovskaya that negotiations with Jaresko have been taking place at the Presidential Administration throughout the last week.

The finance minister has put forth some conditions: Government posts must be assigned on a technocratic basis, rather than using party quotas. There must also be "direct dialogue with parliament."

Support for government initiatives from all factions of the coalition, including Bloc Petro Poroshenko, where the current finance minister has had difficult relationships with certain MPs. For example, with Nina Yuzhanina, who last year registered an alternative tax code bill.

In addition, Jaresko has proposed several candidates for a future government - Boris Lozhkin, head of the Presidential Administration, and Dmytro Shimkyv, deputy head of the Administration and former CEO of Microsoft Ukraine. Jaresko suggested both men for the post of deputy prime minister, and current deputy economy minister Yulia Kovaliv to head the Ministry of Energy.

Jaresko also named several individuals she would not work with in the Cabinet. These included another deputy head of the Presidential Administration, Vitaliy Kovalchuk, as well as energy minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn and Pavlo Rozenko, the minister for social development.

According to Zhartovskaya, the Administration has provisionally agreed to these conditions, though the make up of the remainder of the cabinet remains undecided.

-- Pierre Vaux