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Ukraine's prime minister offers to quit after the leak of denigrating president



Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk has offered to resign after audio recordings leaked this week suggesting he had described the country's president as a "primitive" understanding of the economy.

In a statement on Facebook Friday, Honcharuk said he had offered his departure to Volodymyr Zelensky, the former comedian who became head of state last year, "to remove any doubt about our respect and trust in the president."

He said the audio recordings from the government meetings contained files of "doctored fragments … which created a false belief that me and my team do not respect the president who is our political leader."

Mr. Honcharuk blamed the leaks, said to be of government talks with the Central Bank of Ukraine, on "earned interests" seeking economic benefit. He said he had given the president the opportunity to pass his resignation to parliament.

On Friday, Zelensky said he had talked to his security chiefs and demanded that they quickly discover who leaked the footage. He said he also wanted to know which authorities and central bank officials were present at the meetings where they were allegedly made. "There are many falsifications in mass media about the presence of this or the official. . . Find out if really all these people participated or not, "the president said.

" I demand that within two weeks, the sooner, the better it will be that we get information about who did the footage. . . Find out who did this and deal with it, "he said.

Zelensky won a landslide in April after promising Ukrainian voters swept reforms that would end corruption, raise living standards and end the war with Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country. In months, his hastily formed Servant of the People party won the first overall majority in the parliamentary elections since Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union in 1

991, and Mr. Honcharuk, a 35-year-old lawyer, was appointed prime minister.


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