11:36 GMT29 November 2020
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    The withdrawal of Estonian specialist Jaanika Merilo from the Ukrainian government is a continuation of the mass exodus of foreign specialists who were earlier invited to join the cabinet.

    The Ukrainian government continues to lose foreign specialists with whom it was eager to work just several months ago.

    On Monday, Estonian specialist Jaanika Merilo quit her position at the Ukrainian Finance Ministy where she worked as Investment Advisor for the Minister.

    According to the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, Merilo stopped cooperation with the Ukrainian cabinet in April.

    While in office, she was charged with the introduction of electronic governance. Prior to her position in the Ukrainian government, she worked as an advisor for the head of the foreign affairs committee in the Estonian parliament.

    Merilo’s withdrawal from the Ukrainian government is a continuation of the mass exodus of foreign specialists who were earlier invited to join the cabinet.

    On May 16, First Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Sasha Borovik announced he was quitting after he joined the Ukrainian cabinet in a bid to push its reforms.

    He was considered to be a Deputy Minister, but he was not appointed. Later, Borovik, who took Ukrainian citizenship and worked without pay for over two months, said his resignation was the result of his conflict with Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk.

    In a separate development on May 16, the Ukrainian parliament dealt with a bill to fire the Healthcare Ministry’s Alexander Kvitashvili, a Georgian expatriate who was granted Ukrainian citizenship last year. The decision on the bill is yet to be announced.

    Earlier this year, former Deputy Justice Minister of Georgia Jaba Ebanoidze had to leave the Ukrainian cabinet.

    "I was invited to head the State Registration Service. I agreed and took Ukrainian citizenship, but when I came to the Ministry of Justice, the service was abolished," Ebanoidze was quoted as saying.

    Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, in his turn, blamed Kiev for making no progress in its highly anticipated economic reforms.
    He added that he sees no political will by the Ukrainian government to carry out reforms.

    In February 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko nominated Saakashvili as his non-staff advisor.

    On December 2, 2014, a bill to allow foreigners to work in the Ukrainian government was introduced to the Verkhovna Rada. According to the law, a resident of any nation, except for an "occupant country" (Kiev blames Russia for "occupation" and "aggression"), or a stateless person, experienced in reforms, having higher education and sufficient knowledge of the Ukrainian language, can become an official in the Ukrainian government.

    On December 2, the parliament approved the new cabinet which included a number of foreign specialists. They were granted Ukrainian citizenship by Poroshenko’s order.

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    Tags:
    politics, reforms, government, Verhovna Rada, Mikhail Saakashvili, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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