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Ukrainian National Bank Deputy Head Resigns

Oleksandr Savchenko
Oleksandr Savchenko
KYIV -- Ukrainian National Bank deputy head Oleksandr Savchenko has resigned, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Savchenko explained his resignation as a "protest and objection to the economic policies" of the bank's management.

He said at a press conference that the national bank is engaged in politics and "some inappropriate commercialization schemes."

Earlier this week, Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko said that his ministry had found "traces" of financial fraud by central bank officials.

Lutsenko also accused President Viktor Yushchenko of covering up the actions of some speculators, who profit from plummeting exchange rates.

The Ukrainian national currency, the hryvnia, has depreciated by some 20 percent in recent months and lost about half of its value against the dollar in the past year.

The official rate is currently 7.99 hryvnia to the dollar. Experts point to the global economic crisis and the upcoming presidential election as the main reasons for the weakening of the Ukrainian currency.