Ukrainian PM quits, parties force new election
Updated: 2014-07-25 11:00
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk addresses parliament in Kiev, July 24, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
KIEV - Ukraine's prime minister tendered his resignation on Thursday, berating parliament for failing to pass legislation to take control over an increasingly precarious energy situation and to increase army financing.
Earlier on Thursday, two parties quit the government coalition, forcing new elections to a parliament whose make-up has not changed since before the toppling of President Viktor Yanukovich in February.
Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk's resignation could leave a hole at the heart of decision-making as Ukraine struggles to fund a war with pro-Russian rebels in its east and deals with the aftermath of a plane crash that killed 298 people.
The usually mild-mannered Yatseniuk bellowed at politicians who had failed to pass a law to allow a liberalisation of control over Ukraine's pipeline system.
He said politicians risked losing the hearts and minds of Ukrainians who had protested for months in the "Maidan" demonstrations in favor of joining Europe and against Yanukovich.
"History will not forgive us," he told parliament.
"Millions of people made this revolution. We did not take the European choice but the 'heavenly hundred' and thousands of other Ukrainians did," he said, referring to those killed, mainly by sniper fire, during the protests.
Yatseniuk, who has been central to talks with the European Union and the United States, cannot leave office immediately, political analysts said, because he is obliged to continue his duties before a new prime minister and government are installed.
But his impassioned speech underlined the frustration of many in Ukraine that change in the higher echelons of power was taking too much time.