Ukraine prime minister resigns over coalition break up 1 hour agoView photo Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk addresses the Parliament in Kiev on June 17, 2014 (AFP Photo/Anatolii Stepanov )Kiev (AFP) – Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Thursday resigned in a shock move in protest at the disbanding of the ruling parliamentary coalition, plunging the strife-torn nation into political uncertainty.Related Stories
„I announce my resignation in connection with the dissolution of the parliamentary coalition and the blocking of government initiatives,” a furious Yatsenyuk told parliament.Yatsenyuk said the „government and the prime minister must resign” after the withdrawal of several parties triggered the break up of the European Choice parliamentary majority in a move that paved the way for long-awaited early legislative elections.Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov called on deputies to put forward immediately a candidate for a temporary premier „until parliamentary elections are held.”Early parliamentary elections in Ukraine have been expected since the February ouster of Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych following months of deadly protests.The formal dissolution of the majority coalition in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada gives President Petro Poroshenko the right over the next month to announce a fresh parliamentary poll.Poroshenko had pledged though that the possibility of upcoming elections would not paralyse the work of parliament at a time when Kiev is struggling to end a bloody separatist insurrection tearing apart the east of the country.
Ukrainian PM tenders resignation, election looms
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s prime minister tendered his resignation on Thursday, berating parliament for failing to pass legislation to take control over the country’s increasingly precarious energy situation and to increase army financing.Earlier on Thursday two parties quit a parliamentary coalition, a move that opened the way for a new election to clear what a politician called „Moscow agents” from the chamber, a decision welcomed by President Petro Poroshenko.Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk’s resignation could leave a hole at the heart of decision-making when Ukraine is struggling to fund a war with pro-Russian rebels in its east and dealing with the aftermath of a plane crash that killed 298 people.The usually mild-mannered Yatseniuk bellowed at politicians who had failed to pass a law to allow a liberalization of control over Ukraine’s pipeline system.He said Ukraine’s politicians were at risk of losing the hearts and minds of the thousands who protested for months in the „Maidan” protests in favor of joining Europe and against a pro-Moscow president.”History will not forgive us,” he told parliament.”Millions of people made this revolution. We did not take the European choice but the ‘heavenly hundred’ and thousands of other Ukrainians did,” he said, referring to those killed, mainly by sniper fire, during the protests.Yatseniuk, who has been central to talks with the European Union and the United States, cannot leave office immediately, political analysts said, because he is obliged to oversee his duties before a new prime minister and government are installed.But his impassioned speech underlined the frustration of many in Ukraine that change in the higher echelons of power was taking too much time.The mood has also sunk in Kiev since the downing of a Malaysian airliner in rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine last week, even though Ukrainian forces are making headway in the military campaign against the separatists.„FULL RESET”Poroshenko welcomed the decision by the nationalist party Svoboda and the Udar (Punch) party of former boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko to withdraw from the majority coalition in parliament.”Society wants a full reset of state authorities,” Poroshenko said in a statement, adding the move showed that those who decided to quit the coalition were following the will of the people.Politicians and political activists have complained that while Ukraine has a new president, it has yet to elect a new parliament since the toppling of Viktor Yanukovich in February, and accuse his supporters of hampering its work.Yatseniuk said that by blocking legislation, like a bill to exert tighter control over the energy sector in the face of dwindling natural gas supplies from Russia, the parliament was putting Ukraine’s future at risk.By not tackling budget spending, it was also putting the lives of Ukraine’s soldiers at risk, he said.”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?” he asked parliament.”Those people who are sitting there under fire, can we just think of them?”(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, writing by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Timothy Heritage)
Yatsenyuk Resigns as Ukraine’s Premier After Coalition Dissolves
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigned after two parties quit the ruling coalition and President Petro Poroshenko signaled his support for early elections.Yatsenyuk told the parliament in Kiev today that he’s stepping down after losing the support of his allies and failing to pass legislation. Former world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko’s UDAR and Svoboda, a nationalist group, said they’d leave the government and seek a snap parliamentary ballot, according to statements today on their websites.“The fact is that the coalition has fallen apart, that laws haven’t been voted on, that soldiers can’t be paid, that there is no money to buy rifles, that there is no possibility to fill gas storages,” Yatsenyuk told lawmakers. “What options do we have now?”Yatsenyuk’s administration took charge of Ukraine in February after pro-European street protests prompted Kremlin-backed President Viktor Yanukovych to flee. Since then, the government has battled a pro-Russian insurgency in the east of the country supported by the government in Moscow.“All opinion polls and direct talks with the people show that society wants a full-power reboot,” Poroshenko, who has pledged to call parliamentary elections this year, said in a statement on his website.Photographer: Sertac Bulur/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk inspects Ukrainian National Guard… Read More Interim Prime Minister Ukraine’s Parliamentary Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov called on the parties that withdrew from the coalition to propose a candidate for interim prime minister. Under the former Soviet republic’s constitution, the existing cabinet will remain in place until a new coalition is formed or an election is called.The breakup of the coalition “was probably agreed on by political parties seeking elections and the president,” Yuriy Yakymenko, the head of political research at Kiev’s Razumkov Center, a non-governmental policy group, said by phone from Kiev today.“Withdrawals from the coalition should not paralyze the parliament’s work,” Poroshenko said, before Yatsenyuk announced his resignation. “The parliament must adopt amendments to the state budget needed to finance our army and also documents needed for cooperation with international financial institutions.”Yields on Ukrainian government bonds due 2023 rose to 8.379 percent as of 6 p.m. from 8.272 percent yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Ukraine’s hryvnia declined to 11.73 per dollar, compared with 11.68 yesterday.“Ukrainian authorities are interested to hold parliamentary elections as early as possible to consolidate the mandate of trust that Ukrainian society gave to Poroshenko during the last presidential elections,” Serhiy Yahnych and Yevgeniy Orudzhev, analysts at BNP Paribas SA’s Ukrsibbank unit in Kiev, wrote in a note to clients. “We believe the news is neutral to Ukraine’s capital markets as these developments were largely priced in.”To contact the reporters on this story: Aliaksandr Kudrytski in Minsk, Belarus at firstname.lastname@example.org; Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Abelsky, Andrew Langley
Ukraine’s PM resigns amid deadly rebellion complicating MH17 probe
Dutch police have also been visiting bereaved relatives of the victims to retrieve DNA samples from items such as hairbrushes, and obtain details of tattoos and fingerprints, as well as consulting medical and dental records to help with the identification.
Ukraine fighting rages as Australia ready for MH17 site deployment
The Dutch team leading the crash probe was stuck in Kiev, unable to join a handful of international investigators at the rebel-controlled site.Meanwhile, Ukraine’s army reported four soldiers killed over the last 24 hours in its offensive to retake the eastern industrial heartland from the pro-Russian insurgents.Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down Wednesday 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the crash site, just as the first bodies recovered from the fated flight were flown out to the Netherlands, which counts 193 citizens lost in the disaster.While the Dutch offered a solemn ceremony for the victims’ remains, soldiers hoisting 40 wooden coffins into as many waiting hearses, British experts began analysing the black boxes from the MH17 flight in the hopes of discovering details about the tragedy.In Brussels EU diplomats were also preparing to stiffen sanctions on Russia, which they allege is arming the Ukrainian separatists accused of bringing down the plane.View galleryA photo taken on July 23, 2014 shows the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, in …And in eastern Kiev, investigators said human remains were still strewn amidst the debris of the wreck, where recovery work has been at a standstill since Tuesday.Dutch authorities said they can only be sure that 200 corpses have been recovered out of the 298 people killed on board.Announcing that Australia was ready to deploy police to secure the debris zone, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that there was still a need for a rigorous search of the site.”On the site it is still clear that nothing is happening without the approval of the armed rebels who brought the plane down in the first place,” he said.”There has still not been anything like a thorough professional search of the area where the plane went down, and there can’t be while the site is controlled by armed men with vested interest in the outcome of the investigation.”View galleryAustralian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop walks past flowers laid in memory of the victims of downed …Abbott, whose country lost 28 citizens, said 50 Australian officers were on standby in London.The Dutch cabinet meanwhile is working on a new UN resolution for an armed mission to secure the crash site, sources told national news agency ANP.Rebels and government forces have declared a ceasefire in the immediate vicinity of the site, but just beyond, fierce fighting was ongoing.- ‘Rockets from Russia’ -The Ukrainian military said rockets were on Thursday being fired „from the Russian side,” hitting locations close to Lugansk airport and in several areas in the Donetsk region.View galleryA woman checks clothes piled up in a room of a building occupied by pro-Russian separatists in Donet …Mortar shells also rained down on Avdiyika in Donetsk region, the army said, without giving details of casualties.An AFP crew heading to one of these combat hotspots Wednesday was turned back by rebels, who fired shots at their car.Kiev said the missiles that downed two fighter jets on Wednesday were also launched from Russian territory, and that while the pilots ejected safely, there was no information about their whereabouts.Meanwhile, the Red Cross warned both sides to abide by the Geneva Conventions, declaring that it considered Ukraine to be in a state of civil war.- EU weighs tighter sanctions -View galleryA convoy of hearses carrying coffins of victims of the downed flight MH17, drives from Eindhoven Air …In Brussels, the EU was looking at punishing Russia, which it accuses of fanning the rebellion in Ukraine’s east by arming the separatists.Reports said Thursday that the 28-member bloc may go even further than the United States in hitting Russian banks with sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, curbing their ability to raise fresh funds.If imposed, the sanctions would come just a week after the last round was unveiled by both the US and the EU against Moscow.US intelligence officials have said they believe the rebels mistakenly shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with a surface-to-air missile provided by Russia.Moscow has denied the charges and Putin has pledged to „do everything” to influence the separatists and ensure a full probe into the crash.The first bodies from last Thursday’s crash arrived in the Netherlands on Wednesday, and were given a solemn ceremony. Dozens more were being flown there on Thursday to undergo an identification process that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has warned could take months.Dutch police have also been visiting relatives of the victims bereaved to retrieve DNA samples from items such as hairbrushes, and obtain details of tattoos and fingerprints, as well as consulting medical and dental records to help with the identification.
Ukraine PM resigns amid parliamentary turmoil