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The Minister of Defense of Ukraine, on his possible move to the Industry portfolio: "I would refuse"

MADRID, 6 Feb.

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The Minister of Defense of Ukraine, on his possible move to the Industry portfolio: "I would refuse"


The Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksi Reznikov, stated this Sunday that he would refuse to lead the Ministry of Strategic Industries if the Government offered it to him as a measure after a corruption scandal in the portfolio that he currently heads for the purchase of military rations.

"If I suddenly received such an offer from the President of Ukraine or the Prime Minister, I would reject it because I do not have the experience that would allow me to be the minister of the Ministry of Strategic Industries. So I think it is a mistake," he said in an interview for the Ukrainian television channel ICTV, as reported by the local media.

Likewise, Reznikov has reiterated that he would only resign if the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenski, asked him to, despite the fact that the president has not made this offer for the moment.

"I repeat once again that the decision to resign from the Ministry of Defense or Foreign Affairs can only be taken by the president in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine," he stated, while stressing that "it is the first time" that he heard talk about the offer to move to the Ministry of Industry.

Thus, he has stressed that it is "news": "I can comment that this is news for me. I did not have any conversation about the Ministry of Strategic Industry with the President of Ukraine, the Commander in Chief," he asserted.

Several official sources have told the Ukrainian media these days that Zelensky could announce Reznikov's replacement next week, without there having been an official announcement for the moment. In his position, he would be replaced by the head of the Ukrainian Military Intelligence agency Kirilo Budanov.

Zelensky described the wave of dismissals as "necessary." "All internal issues that hinder the state are being eliminated and will continue to be eliminated. It is fair, it is necessary for our defense, and it helps our rapprochement with the European institutions," he said.

Ukraine has been the scene in the past of numerous cases of corruption and Transparency International placed it in 2021 in 122nd place out of a total of 180 in its study on the perception of corruption. The fight against these crimes is also one of the key demands of the European Union (EU) in the framework of the process for its possible accession to the bloc, something firmly rejected by Russia.