EU says NBU governor's resignation is 'a worrying signal' – statement.

The European Union has said that the resignation of the governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), Yakiv Smolii, caused by political pressure is "a worrying signal," adding that the bank "must maintain its ability to fulfil its role independently."

Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Peter Stano made this statement in Brussels on Thursday.

"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. The Bank must maintain its ability to fulfil its role independently. Undermining this important institution jeopardizes the credibility of and support for Ukraine’s reform agenda," he said.

Stano also said that "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," he said.

The EU representative also said that 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 stabilizing the national currency, reducing inflation and increasing foreign reserves, restructuring the entire banking sector and recovering assets lost in cases of bank fraud," Stano said.

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