Lawmaker explains why intel chief can't be appointed as defense minister
Kyrylo Budanov (pictured) cannot head the Ministry of Defense due to the impossibility of being released from military service during martial law and anti-corruption legislation, Serhii Rakhmanin explained (Photo:gur.gov.ua)
Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov cannot be considered for the position of defense minister, Ukrainian MP Serhiy Rakhmanin said on Radio NV on Feb. 7.
This is because Ukrainian law requires a civilian to serve in that role, the MP noted.
"I was surprised to hear speciations about a possible replacement of (incumbent Defense Minister) Oleksii Reznikov with Kyrylo Budanov, because I haven't seen any legal or physical grounds for such a swap,” Rakhmanin explained.
“The Law on National Security adopted in 2018 states that only a civilian can become Ukraine's Minister of Defence. It entered into force on Jan. 1, 2019.”
Rakhmanin added that he could not see Budanov resigning from military service during wartime (to become a civilian for the defense minister’s post).
”Even assuming he somehow has managed to do this, he still wouldn't be able to become defense minister as anti-corruption legislation bars ex-officials from holding a position in the same department or its subsidiaries, or a central government agency," the MP said, referring to the particulars of the national security law.
The head of the ruling Servant of the People faction in the Ukrainian parliament, David Arakhamia, said on Feb. 6 that Oleksii Reznikov wouldn't be dismissed from the position of Ukraine's Defense Minister, despite an earlier statement by the MP that Reznikov would be moved to the position of the Minister of Strategic Industries (instead of Pavlo Riabikin), while his post would be taken over by Budanov.
News about Reznikov’s possible dismissal as Minister of Defense appeared following the emergence of a food procurement scandal for the military, with several top defense ministry officials suspected of being involved in wrongdoing.
Commenting on the rumors about his possible reassignment, Reznikov said he would resign if President Volodymyr Zelenskyy approved the relevant order.
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