Defense Minister Reznikov comments on resignation rumors amid procurement scandal

5 February, 11:58 PM
Oleksii Reznikov is ready to resign if the president decides to do so (Photo:Ministry of Defense of Ukraine)

Oleksii Reznikov is ready to resign if the president decides to do so (Photo:Ministry of Defense of Ukraine)

Commenting on rumors of his possible dismissal, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has said he is "on the team" but will resign if President Volodymyr Zelenskyy makes such a decision.

Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported Reznikov’s response at a press conference on Feb. 5 to rumors of his imminent resignation.

"The decision for me to be the Minister of Defense or not is made by one person — the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy,” Interfax-Ukraine quoted Reznikov as saying.

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“According to the Constitution, he submits a proposal for appointment, and the Verkhovna Rada makes the appointment.”

Reznikov emphasized that he would "make certain decisions" only upon the president's decision.

According to the defense chief, he will continue to do what the president suggests.

"I am on the team, I will do everything necessary for our victory,” Reznikov said.

“My specialization as a lawyer allows me to think optimistically that I will definitely find an interesting project that will allow us not only to win the war, but also to punish the military and political leadership of the Russian Federation.”

Media and MPs have reported that Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov may resign amid a corruption scandal involving procurement at the Defense Ministry and suspicions of embezzlement involving several top officials at the ministry.

Ukrainian media have reported that MP Yaroslav Zheleznyak from the pro-presidential Holos party has suggested that the Ukrainian chief Kyrylo Budanov could take over at the ministry, and Reznikov could instead head the Ministry of Strategic Industries.

Zheleznyak, a Servant of the People MP who is also deputy head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, also said that the committee plans to hold hearings on a new defense minister next week.

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