The announcement of the resignation of the Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, Yakiv Smolii, against the backdrop of alleged political pressure sends a worrying signal.
A relevant statement has been published on the website of the European External Action Service.
The Bank must maintain its ability to fulfil its role independently. Undermining this important institution jeopardises the credibility of and support for Ukraine’s reform agenda.
Establishing a strong and independent National Bank has been a fundamental achievement for Ukraine, and remains crucial to the country’s future success.
"Over the past years, the National Bank of Ukraine has taken bold and much needed steps to ensure Ukraine’s macro-financial stability and facilitate a sustainable economic recovery. The Bank’s policies have served the Ukrainian economy and Ukrainian people well, by stabilising the national currency, reducing inflation and increasing foreign reserves, restructuring the entire banking sector and recovering assets lost in cases of bank fraud," the document reads.
Ukraine’s path to reform is challenging, in particular in the current exceptional circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic. "The European Union will continue to support Ukraine in the implementation of much needed reforms, and counts on the Ukrainian authorities to maintain their level of commitment," reads the statement.
On July 1, NBU Governor Yakiv Smolii submitted a letter of resignation to President Volodymyr Zelensky due to "systematic political pressure".
In turn, the Office of the President of Ukraine assured that the Board of the National Bank will continue its work on the principles of independence and professionalism.
On July 2, President Zelensky tabled in the Verkhovna Rada a motion to dismiss Smolii as NBU governor.
Smolii was appointed NBU governor in March 2018.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) states that the independence of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) after the resignation of NBU Governor Yakiv Smolii must be maintained under his successor.