June 6, 2018 / 11:41 AM / a year ago

Ukraine finance minister says was asked to support corruption or quit

Ukraine's finance minister Oleksandr Danylyuk speaks to a Reuters journalist during an interview in London, Britain July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk said on Wednesday he was given the choice between supporting a scheme to give cash handouts to lawmakers — which he described as “political corruption” — or quit his post.

Danylyuk made the statement after Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman asked parliament to sack Danylyuk following a public spat between the two. Parliament has yet to vote on the issue.

Danylyuk said he had come under huge pressure to support a program for subventions for socio-economic development in Ukraine’s regions.

“Translated into human language it is the distribution of money to the projects of ... lawmakers,” he wrote. “This - political corruption - is known by people as ‘buckwheat’”.

The reference to buckwheat relates to the practice of bribing voters with food or by other means during election campaigns.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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