- Viktor Shokin, who resigned last month, back from vacation
- Parliament may discuss prosecutor's departure this week
Ukraine’s prosecutor general returned to work after a monthlong holiday, with parliament’s failure to vote on the resignation he submitted a month ago heightening concern that the nation isn’t adhering to promises to combat corruption.
Viktor Shokin turned in his notice on the request of President Petro Poroshenko, who moved to punish a lack of graft prosecutions under pressure from voters and foreign donors. Parliament’s committee for law enforcement Wednesday recommended including discussion of Shokin’s resignation on the legislature’s agenda.
Ukrainian politics are deadlocked as officials scrap over a government revamp that’s threatening to cost Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk his job. The uncertainty is holding up billions of dollars of financial aid and is weighing on the hryvnia. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden backed the effort to replace Shokin as a chance to “pave the way for needed reform in the prosecutorial sector.”
“Ukrainian leaders have been locked for months in a cycle of political infighting and indecision,” said Victoria Nuland, U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. “Every week that Ukraine drifts, reform is stalled, International Monetary Fund and international support goes un-disbursed.”
Disbursement of the third $1.7 billion tranche of IMF aid has been delayed since last year, also postponing billions more from allies including the U.S. and the European Union. U.S. assistance for Ukraine this year hinges on the appointment of a new prosecutor general who’ll act on corruption and recover stolen assets from abroad.
Parliament won’t gather sufficient votes to fire Shokin, according to Vladyslav Kutsenko, Shokin’s aide. Shokin is ready to work further if he’s not dismissed, Kutsenko said in remarks broadcast by TV channel 112.