6 Jun 2019 23:16

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin to keep performing duties during transition period

KYIV. June 6 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said he would not take a leave and continue performing his duties during a transition period, simultaneously putting together a team for engaging in politics.

"You surely can take a leave, but there are very serious things. I will work and help as I should during the transition period. You shouldn't worry that I'll hide under a table from responsibility and some serious things," Klimkin said on the 112 Ukraina television channel on Thursday.

"Without adding some drive and shaking up the foreign policy environment, we cannot win additional support from abroad, which we need," he said.

Klimkin said he asked the parliamentarians to support his voluntary resignation.

"I have my own plans, including political ones: I want to put together a cool team with people who trust me and whom I trust [...] I've been holding various negotiations but haven't yet found such a team. We'll keep working to form our own," he said.

In commenting on President Volodymyr Zelensky's earlier remark that he had asked Klimkin to stay, the foreign minister said: "I explained to him that I considered this politically wrong today. This is not just my personal desire [...], but this is the right approach from the standpoint of how a team should be formed."

Earlier on Thursday, the Verkhovna Rada did not support a resolution on relieving Klimkin of his duties. In particular, only 141 parliamentarians voted for supporting Klimkin's voluntary resignation and 137 for President Zelensky's request that Klimkin be discharged of his duties. At least 226 votes are necessary for such resolutions to pass.