Azarov's Resignation Means Departure of Entire Govt
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov offered his resignation on Tuesday in a move, which under the constitution, means the departure of the whole government.
Azarov said he was stepping down because of the threat to the economy caused by two months of unrest, his press service said.
"The conflict situation which has come about in the country is threatening the economic and social development of Ukraine, creating a threat to the whole of Ukrainian society and to each citizen," Azarov said.
"With the aim of creating extra means for finding a social-political compromise, for the sake of a peaceful settlement of the conflict, I took the personal decision to ask the president to accept my resignation," he said.
Azarov, 66, was appointed by Yanukovich after the presidential election in 2010 and has since steered the heavily indebted economy through hard times, keeping the national currency tightly pegged to the dollar and refusing International Monetary Fund pressure to raise gas prices at home.
A faithful lieutenant of Yanukovich, he backed the decision in November to walk away from a free trade agreement with the European Union and it was Azarov who took the heat in parliament, defending the need for closer economic ties with Russia.