Ukraine assembly rejects premier’s resignation

Ukrainian parliament rejected Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk’s resignation on Thursday, July 31.

Yatseniuk had tendered his resignation last week after lawmakers failed to support his proposed budget amendments at the first attempt. On Thursday, he was applauded by the deputies after they backed the amendments in a new vote and then voted overwhelmingly to block his resignation.

Yatseniuk had requested changes to the budget to offset lower-than-expected revenues and raise overall spending, including allowing an additional 9.1 billion hryvnia (449 million pounds) to be spent on Kiev’s military campaign against pro-Russia separatists in the east of the country.

Yatseniuk said the former Soviet republic would have defaulted if the amendments had not been passed, and would have undermined a $17-billion bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund, Reuters reports.

His resignation came as two parties quit a parliamentary coalition – a move that paved the way for for long-awaited early legislative elections.

Yatseniuk was elected following the 2014 revolution that removed Viktor Yanukovych from power.