- Early election no longer a risk, PM Hroisman says in interview
- Hroisman reiterates truce demand for further progress on Minsk
The political crisis that split Ukraine’s government and delayed billions of dollars in aid has ended, eliminating the risk of snap elections, according to the nation’s prime minister.
Volodymyr Hroisman, confirmed by parliament in April in a bid to stem the tensions, said Friday in an interview that any remnants of the trouble exist only inside the heads of opponents seeking to destabilize the country. His government is backed by a slim majority in Ukraine’s 450-seat parliament.
“The political crisis is over,” Hroisman said. “We need to work on parliament’s consolidation and its ability to adopt necessary decisions. I don’t see a risk of early elections and I don’t see any need for them.”
Hroisman was appointed to end Ukraine’s worst political crisis since the nation’s second revolution in a decade dislodged Russian-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. Stalled anti-corruption efforts were at the heart of the tumult, which prompted the resignations of key reformers within the government and prosecutor’s office.
The new cabinet, which says delayed disbursements from a $17.5 billion bailout could resume this month, has soothed investor concerns that the infighting risked triggering snap elections. As voters and international creditors also demand progress on tackling graft, parliament on Tuesday stripped a lawmaker suspected of fraud of his immunity.
As well as political tensions in the capital, Hroisman’s team faces the continued conflict with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region. While a 2015 peace accord signed in Minsk, Belarus, remains unfulfilled, there’s been a recent diplomatic push by officials from the U.S. and Germany to accelerate efforts toward a resolution.
Hroisman discussed the matter in Berlin last week with Chancellor Angela Merkel. He reiterated Ukraine’s position that plans to grant the separatists more autonomy and hold elections in the disputed territories can’t proceed without a complete cease-fire in the conflict zone, where the nation’s military still reports daily attacks.
“We’ve fulfilled almost everything under the Minsk accords,” Hroisman said. “We can’t adopt decentralization for certain areas of Donbas when Russians are shelling our land, when they’re killing our soldiers. It’s not acceptable. Elections mean democracy, when a person has a right for his or her free choice. What elections can be held when criminals with guns are wandering across cities?”