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Ukrainian lawmakers set to remove premier

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Ukrainian lawmakers are set to remove the embattled country’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk over corruption charges.

The legislators will remove Yatsenyuk from his post through voting next week after a temporary investigative anti-corruption commission is established, Sergei Kaplin, the representative of the largest faction in the Ukrainian parliament, Petro Poroshenko Bloc, said on Friday.

Kaplin further added that signatures are being gathered for the establishment of the commission in the parliament. 

The commission will investigate the statements made by the former chairman of the Ukrainian State Financial Inspection, Nikolai Gordienko, who accused Yatsenyuk of corruption.

Yatsenyuk dismissed Gordienko in early March and ordered his activities to be investigated.

The premier also accused Gordienko of failing to successfully control state property and state finances.

Gordienko, however, accused the premier of covering up corruption schemes, saying his cabinet blocked the investigation into the corruption schemes from the time of the former government, an allegation denied by Yatsenyuk’s cabinet.

According to Gordienko, Ukraine’s Ukrtelecom Telecom Company was privatized in violation of the law and caused "billions" in damage.

This comes as Ukraine has been witnessing a months-long deadly conflict in its eastern parts.

The two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Luhansk have been hit by deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April last year to crush pro-Russia protests there.

In May 2014, the situation in the two flashpoint regions started to worsen as residents overwhelmingly voted for independence from Ukraine in referendums.

During peace talks in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on February 11-12, the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agreed on the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Ukraine’s frontlines and a ceasefire, which officially went into effect on February 15. The warring sides, however, have continued to engage in sporadic clashes.

More than 6,000 people have died in the conflict, the UN says. Around 1.5 million people have also been forced from their homes over the past months of the turmoil.


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