Ukraine's prime minister quits in anger, with new elections likely
Ukraine's prime minister tendered his resignation yesterday, berating parliament for failing to pass legislation to take control over the country's increasingly precarious energy situation and to increase army financing.
Earlier 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 Yatsenyuk'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 in the aftermath of a plane crash that killed 298 people.
The usually mild-mannered Yatsenyuk bellowed at politicians who had failed to pass a law to allow a liberalisation 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 favour 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.
Yatsenyuk, 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.
Poroshenko welcomed the decision by the nationalist party Svoboda and 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," he said.