KIEV Jan 28 Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola
Azarov offered his resignation on Tuesday, saying he was
stepping down because of the threat to the economy caused by two
months of unrest, his press service said.
Under the constitution, the departure of the prime minister
means the resignation of the entire government.
He said he had personally asked President Viktor Yanukovich
to accept his resignation for the sake of a peaceful settlement
to conflict in the country.
"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