Ukraine's Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius attends a news conference in Kiev in this Dec. 10, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/Files
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Ukrainian Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius quit Wednesday saying his ministry was being hijacked by corrupt vested interests, dealing another blow to Western hopes that the country can reform itself.Poroshenko later responded by urging Abromavicius to stay, adding that the anti-corruption bureau would investigate the allegations.Any threat of Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk's government collapsing would also deeply worry Ukraine's Western partners, who have backed the coalition to keep the country from falling back into Moscow's orbit.Abromavicius is a Lithuanian-born former asset manager who was brought in as one of several foreign experts to help run Ukraine's new government.He said Ihor Kononenko, a senior lawmaker close to Poroshenko, had lobbied to get his people appointed as heads of state companies, culminating in an attempt to appoint one of his people as Abromavicius's deputy. Kononenko denied the accusations as "completely absurd", and said Abromavicius was trying to shift blame for his own failures in running the ministry.Poroshenko said in a statement that Abromavicius had recognized the support the president had given him.
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