KIEV, July 31 Ukrainian President Petro
Poroshenko appealed to parliament on Thursday to back
legislation needed to fund an army offensive against separatists
in the east and shore up the energy sector.
Prime Minster Arseny Yatseniuk tendered his resignation last
week over the assembly's refusal to back amendments to the 2014
budget in an initial vote but it is possible he will stay on if
deputies support the changes now.
"The laws the government is insisting on are unpopular and
difficult but very necessary," Poroshenko was quoted as saying
by his press service in an appeal to deputies.
"The parliament's decisions today are needed not only to
finance the army, although that is question number one. The
parliament's decisions are needed to enable the economy, the
state as a whole, to function and for people to feel confident
Yatseniuk offered to quit last week after parliament blocked
moves that would release extra money for the army as it battles
pro-Russian rebels and to allow consortiums with European or
U.S. companies to operate the ageing gas distribution system.
But he later urged lawmakers to hold another vote on passing
the budget amendments, saying the release of further funds under
a $17-billion International Monetary Fund bailout depended on
them being passed.
Parliament has not voted on his resignation but a vote of
confidence was included on Thursday's parliamentary agenda.
(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Writing by Timothy Heritage)