Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk announced his resignation on Friday, following a media leak, claiming he criticized the country's President Volodymyr Zelensky. "I came to this post to carry out the president's programme". "He is an example of transparency and decency to me", he said. In the recording, Honcharuk is heard allegedly insulting Zelensky, stating he has a "very primitive understanding about the economy", Kyiv Post reported. He called Zelenskiy "a layman" in economics and said the president should be better educated about the national currency.
The press service of the Ukrainian government said it had no data about the authenticity of the recording and confirmed the premier's resignation.
Zelenskiy's office acknowledged receiving Honcharuk's resignation letter, but said it will comment later on how it will react to the situation.
"It is not true, " the PM insisted.
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The Rada, Ukraine's parliament, must vote on whether to accept the resignation. Honcharuk submitted his resignation on Friday after the audio recording suggested he had criticised the President, but then appeared to suggest that he might stay in his job.
The scandal involving Honcharuk shows that different political forces have started a fight for the position of prime minister, Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Penta think-tank, told The Associated Press.
In the meantime, Zelenskiy demanded that the provenance of the tapes be investigated.
He said the audio files had been "doctored", cobbled together from fragments of other recorded speech to create the impression he and his colleagues did not respect Zelenskyy, a political novice who came to power after a career as a TV comedian.