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Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigns from post of Ukrainian prime minister

Ukrainian parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation on Thursday.

"In connection with the breakup of the parliamentary coalition, as well as non-adoption of a number of important bills, I announce my resignation," Yatsenyuk said from the Verkhovna Rada's rostrum.

"What happened today in parliament will have very complicated, if not dramatic, consequences for the country," he said. "It is good if I am mistaken."

Rada speaker Alexander Turchinov told deputies to start consultations on the appointment of a technical prime minister.

The premier's resignation automatically means the resignation of the entire government. But the cabinet members will continue fulfilling their duties until a new coalition is formed in the Rada.

Earlier Thursday, the parliament did not support the government's bill on 2014 budget sequestration, as well as a draft law on reforming the country's gas transportation system.

Rada deputies said Thursday they believe that Yatsenyuk's government will fulfill his duties at least until November.

The Verkhovna Rada approved Arseniy Yatsenyuk as new prime minister on February 27. With a simple majority consisting of 226 votes, 371 MPs supported Yatsenyuk's candidacy.

Ukraine crisis

Violent anti-government protests, which started in November 2013 when Ukraine suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia, resulted in a coup in February 2014.

Then-President Viktor Yanukovych had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns the same month. New people were then brought to power amid riots in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian parliament appointed its speaker, Alexander Turchinov, as acting president of the country and approved a new government led by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the leader of the parliamentary faction of the Batkivshchina party. The Verkhovna Rada also set early presidential elections for May 25.

Crimea seceded from Ukraine and reunified with Russia in mid-March 2014. The move was not recognized by the international community and Kiev despite Moscow's repeated explanations that the reunification was legal.

Crimea's example apparently inspired residents of Ukraine's southeastern regions who did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities, formed militias and started fighting for their rights. Kiev has been conducting a punitive operation against the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions to regain control over them.

Western-leaning billionaire businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine set by the provisional Kiev authorities propelled to power during the February coup. He was sworn in and took office June 7.

Poroshenko signed the economic part of the association deal with the EU on June 27, on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels. The political part of the deal had been signed in Brussels on March 21.

Poroshenko, dubbed "the chocolate king" because his structures control Ukraine's Roshen confectionery manufacturer, had funded anti-government protests that led to February's coup.

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 24Jul14]

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