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    Heavy Loss: EU ‘Won't Be Able to Replace Russia as Ukraine's Trade Partner'

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    Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash said in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Kurier that the Ukrainian government has become "politically bankrupt".

    Following the recent resignation of Ukrainian Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavičius, Firtash stated that Ukraine is unlikely to carry out necessary reforms and come out of the current economic crisis.

    "Aivaras' resignation showed me that the current government is politically bankrupt. There is no program of reforms. And it looks as if the most important thing for these politicians is to make profit out of state corporations," Firtash claimed.

    On Wednesday, Ukrainian Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavičius, a Western-trained minister, resigned, saying he had been unable to fight corruption. His resignation is considered by a number of experts as another signal to Ukraine's Western partners that Kiev may not be able to implement the required reforms.

    "What I see today in Ukraine is the failure of the US strategy. In my view, Ukraine is guided by external forces and not very effectively," Firtash said.

    According to Firtash, Ukraine should play the role of "a bridge" between Russia and Europe, rather than take one side, and ignore the other. The fact that Kiev lost the Russian market has a catastrophic impact on the Ukrainian economy. In Firtash's opinion, this gap can't be filled by the EU alone.

    "Even today I say: The three of us [EU, Ukraine and Russia] should sit at the same table and find a solution. The last thing Europe needs today is a poor Ukraine," the businessman concluded.


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