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Ukrainian Lawmakers Approve Reznikov As New Defense Minister


Oleksiy Reznikov

KYIV -- The Ukrainian parliament has approved the appointment of the former deputy prime minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, to the post of defense minister.

A total of 273 lawmakers voted for Reznikov’s appointment to the post on November 4, a day after parliament accepted Reznikov's resignation as deputy prime minister for the reintegration of eastern regions controlled by Russia-backed separatists. Some 74 lawmakers abstained.

The 55-year-old Reznikov represented Ukraine on the working political subgroup at the Trilateral Contact Group, which meets to try and resolve the ongoing conflict in parts of Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, commonly known as the Donbas.

Russia seized Ukraine's Crimea region and began backing fighters in parts of the two eastern provinces after months-long protests in Kyiv prompted Kremlin-leaning President Viktor Yanukovych to flee in February 2014.

The resulting seven-year war has taken the lives of more than 13,200 people and, along with the forcible annexation of Crimea, devastated Ukraine’s economy.

The Ukrainian government’s parliamentary envoy, Taras Melnychuk, said on November 3 that lawmakers will vote on November 4 to fill four vacant ministerial posts after a series of resignations this week.

Iryna Vereshchuk has been nominated to take Reznikov’s former post; Pavlo Ryabikin to the post of minister for strategic industries; while Yulia Svyrydenko is the candidate to the post of the first deputy prime minister and minister of economy.

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