Compromise reached on Ukrainian government

KIEV, Ukraine, April 13 (UPI) — A coalition led by Ukrainian Persistent Petro Poroshenko’s party has decided on new administration leadership for the country.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigned earlier this week amid complaints from Ukrainian citizens, government officials and international lenders that he was too slow to combat corruption and implement reforms. A new prime minister, expected to be Parliament Speaker Vladimir Groysman, a member of Poroshenko’s Social Democratic Party, was expected Tuesday, but it took until Wednesday for an announcement of agreement on the prime minister and cabinet positions.

Poroshenko’s coalition of parties, unified with Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front Party, form what is known as the Petro Poroshenko Bloc in Ukraine’s parliament; the bloc now has 226 votes in the 450-member legislature, bloc member Oleskiy Honchrenko told Ukraine’s Interfax news agency.

Reports arose Monday that Groysman disagreed with the cabinet nominations, keeping a vote from occurring, but by Wednesday he offered optimism for a new government.

“Today (Wednesday) there is an agreed format that should be supported,” Groysman said in a social media video. “I think today there will be a discussion of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) MPs and there will be a possibility to have a meeting of the coalition to hold the vote on setting up a new government, approving the program of actions, replacing the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada and moving forward.”

He added he plans that his administration will “stabilize the situation in the country and continue carrying out successful reforms.”

In recent months, reform efforts in Ukraine have stalled and reform-minded government appointees have resigned. The International Monetary Fund has threatened to withhold tranches of promised funding if reforms are not undertaken. Ukraine also is in an uneasy truce with Russian-supplied rebels in its eastern provinces, and its ambitions to join the European Union were stalled on April 6 when the Netherlands, in a referendum, rejected a landmark trade deal between Ukraine and the EU; the trade agreement will now require further negotiation.

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