Ukraine's reform minister throws in the towel

Owing to the opposition to his reform plans Ukraine's Lithuanian-born economics minister, Aivaras Abromavičius, has resigned. Commentators see this as a heavy blow to the hopes for major reforms in Ukraine.

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Polityka (PL) /

Resignation could lead to bankruptcy

The sudden resignation of reformist Aivaras Abromavičius could drive Ukraine into bankruptcy, Jagienka Wilczak fears in her blog with the centre-left news magazine Polityka:

“His departure is a source of concern for the Germans and the Americans, because in their eyes of all the politicians Abromavičius is a guarantee for effective reforms and developments that will take the country in the right direction. The Americans will be the first to withdraw. That's for sure. And that in turn could lead to Kiev's bankruptcy. Because without bailouts from the West and the support of the international financial institutes and other governments Ukraine will be powerless to help itself. Also because the war in Donbass is still not over.”

Lietuvos žinios (LT) /

Major loss for Ukraine

Ukraine remains extremely unstable and dependent on politicians like Aivaras Abromavičius, the conservative daily Lietuvos žinios comments:

“Every day the West faces the dilemma of how to provide Ukraine with financial support without the money ending up in the oligarchs' pockets. Without support Ukraine would be entirely at the mercy of Russia. ... For that reason ministers like the Lithuanian Abromavičius or the US-born Finance Minister Natalija Jaresko are sorely needed. ... Prime Minister Jazenjuk is calling for the West to help stabilise the government because otherwise new elections could give fresh impetus to the pro-Russian Party of Regions. Not only the Ukrainians but also the West - which supports the path to pro-Western democracy - must be clear that the country still faces huge challenges.”

La Stampa (IT) /

EU's approach utterly counterproductive

The EU's foreign policy is pushing Ukraine in entirely the wrong direction, the liberal daily La Stampa criticises:

“It would be appropriate to first of all question EU foreign policy. The sanctions against Russia imposed because of Moscow's Ukraine policy are slowing the already meagre growth in Europe's GDP. Moreover because of the sanctions two million jobs are at stake. The recent resignation of the Ukrainian minister for economic affairs, who denounced the rampant corruption surrounding him, demonstrates that Europe is penalising its own economy by encouraging corruption elsewhere [in Ukraine].”