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Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

© Afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-25

Ukraine's cabinet on Friday selected deputy PM Volodymyr Groysman to serve as acting premier after the shock resignation a day earlier of Arseny Yatseniuk (pictured), who served as premier since the February ouster of president Viktor Yanukovich.

New acting PM Groysman has been coordinating Kiev's response to the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in east Ukraine.

Yatseniuk quit in protest Thursday after the ruling European Choice coalition collapsed following the withdrawal of several parties. He lashed out at the decision to pull the plug on the coalition, saying parliament was betraying the people's demands for change by failing to pass much-needed legislation.

Kiev continues to struggle to end a bloody pro-Russian separatist insurrection in the east and navigate the country out of its lingering economic turmoil.

The break-up of the parliamentary majority gives Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko – who was elected in May – the right to announce a fresh parliamentary election over the next month.

Poroshenko on Friday asked parliament to pass a vote of confidence in the government. In a statement following Yatseniuk's resignation, Prorshenko appealed for "calm".

"I hope that the strong emotions will calm down and be trumped by cold reason and a sense of responsibility and that the entire Ukrainian cabinet will continue its work," Poroshenko said in a statement released late on Thursday.

Yatseniuk held top posts under previous governments, including economy minister and deputy governor of the central bank. And his economic experience proved a boon as he negotiated a $27 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the World Bank to keep the country afloat.

Yatseniuk once branded the premiership "political suicide" because dragging the former Communist republic back from the brink of collapse meant pushing through deeply unpopular policies.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-07-25

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