Ukraine's economy minister quits over officials "paralyzing" his work

Ukraine's reform-minded economy minister Aivaras Abromavicius announced on Wednesday that he was quitting his post because of "actions directed at paralyzing our work," state media reported.

Senior officials were blocking key reforms that the cash-strapped government needs to implement in order to secure foreign financial aid, he said.

Lithuanian-born Abromavicius was appointed in 2014 after Ukraine ousted its former pro-Russian president amid mass protests calling for closer ties with the West.

He singled out Igor Kononenko, a close ally of President Petro Poroshenko, as one of the officials working "behind my back," state news agency Ukrinform reported.

Abromavicius called for Ukraine's parliament to approve his resignation as soon as Thursday.

Poroshenko has become significantly unpopular as Ukrainians increasingly believe he has failed to fulfil his campaign promises, US-based pollster Gallup said in December.

His approval rating among the Ukrainian people is a meagre 17 per cent, well below the 28 per cent that his pro-Russian predecessor Viktor Yanukovych had before being ousted, the pollster said in a statement on its website.

"Poroshenko's low approval rating largely reflects Ukrainians' disenchantment with their leadership, which many feel has failed to deliver on what protesters demanded when they took to the streets two years ago," the pollster said.

Last update: Wed, 03/02/2016 - 21:29

More from Europe

European Parliament elects Antonio Tajani as its next president

The European Parliament elected centre-right Antonio Tajani of Italy as its next president over fellow Italian...

Report: US and EU make "considerable progress" on TTIP negotiations

The European Union and the United States have made "considerable progress" in negotiating the Transatlantic Trade...

Mediterranean death toll exceeds 200 since January 1, IOM says

At least 219 people have died trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean in the first weeks of 2017, the...

Estonia, Lithuania sign defence deal with US after Trump bashes NATO

Estonia and Lithuania signed bilateral defence agreements with the US, just days after US-president elect Donald...

German artist fined 700 euros for doing push-ups on church altar

A 38-year-old man was fined 700 euros (750 dollars) by a German court on Tuesday for disrupting the practice of...