Reznikov may resign from post of defense minister, Budanov being considered for job, MP says
Oleksiy Reznikov (Photo:Murad Sezer/Reuters)
Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov may leave his post, and his place may be taken by the Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) chief Kyrylo Budanov, MP from the Holos party Yaroslav Zheleznyak wrote on his Telegram channel on Feb. 5.
The President’s Office is considering where to transfer the Minister of Defense, because they believe that he should remain in the team, NV’s sister publication Ukrainsky Pravda wrote on Feb. 5 with reference to its own sources.
According to Ukrainsky Pravda’s journalists, Reznikov may head the Ministry of Justice. And the current head of the department, Denys Malyuska, may be appointed ambassador to a European countries.
When asked by Ukrainsky Pravda about the possibility of his dismissal, Reznikov said that he had had no conversations about the need to leave his post.
The publication’s sources in the security forces said that Budanov does not want to join the Defense Ministry, “because he understands that it’s a huge bureaucratic machine.”
At the end of January, the Ministry of Defense was involved in a scandal due to the purchase of food for the military at inflated prices. The mass media published a contract according to which the ministry procured foods at apparently inflated prices. The total amount of the deal exceeded UAH 13 billion ($350 million).
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine stated that the details of the contract “are being distributed with signs of deliberate manipulation and are misleading.”
Reznikov called the scandal an attempt to undermine trust in the department’s leadership. Later it was reported that Reznikov had admitted there were mistakes in the contracts.
Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov resigned against the backdrop of the procurement scandal.
On Feb. 2, the court arrested him for two months: according to the investigation, Shapovalov lobbied for the conclusion of contracts for the supply of products and the purchase of low-quality body armor, helmets, clothes and other items for the military for more than UAH 1 billion ($27 million).
The Ministry of Defense also fired the director of the procurement department, Bohdan Khmelnytskyi.
Furthermore, on Feb. 1, Oleksandr Liev, the temporary head of the Department of Military and Technical Policy of the Ministry of Defense, submitted his resignation. A public discussion developed around him due to scandalous statements made several years ago regarding Crimea.
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