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Ukraine's economy minister offers to resign over poor pace of economic reform

Published on Aug 21, 2014 9:03 PM

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian Economy Minister Pavlo Sheremeta said on Thursday he had tendered his resignation, voicing frustration at the poor pace of economic reform by a government which he said acted "like a predator towards business".

After months of fighting in its eastern regions following the toppling of a government blighted by corruption and economic mismanagement, Ukraine's economy has contracted sharply, even with a multibillion dollar financial lifeline from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). That money comes with requirements for reform, which have been slow in coming.

When he was appointed, soon after the ousting of a Moscow-backed president in February, Mr Sheremeta vowed to slash red tape and eliminate corrupt practices that had helped almost to bankrupt Ukraine. But he has not managed to push substantive legislation through Parliament and on Thursday he said without reforms it would take three to four years for Ukraine to achieve flat growth if the economy falls by the expected 6 per cent to 7 per cent this year.

"It's sad... The economy will never advance if the government continues to behave like a predator towards business," he said at a televised briefing.

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