MOSCOW – Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has called on the country's embattled prime minister to resign, a move that would break apart the fragile ruling coalition.
Poroshenko amped up the pressure on Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is already facing a possible no-confidence vote in parliament, to step down.
"Society has clearly decided that there are more mistakes than achievements and have stopped believing in (Ukraine's) ministries," said Poroshenko in a statement posted on his website on Tuesday afternoon.
Poroshenko's spokesman, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, said on Twitter that the president has asked both Yatsenyuk and Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin to step down.
A possible vote of no-confidence in Yatsenyuk could cause the fragile alliance between parliament's two main parties — headed by Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk — to crumble and could trigger snap elections, something both parties wish to avoid.
Yatsenyuk came to lead the Cabinet when Ukraine's former Russia-friendly president was chased from power in February 2014 by massive street protests. Poroshenko was elected president several months later.
Political infighting and a lack of reform prompted the International Monetary Fund to threaten withholding much-needed aid money from Ukraine.
The country's reform-minded economy minister Aivaras Abromavicius resigned on Feb. 3 citing a lack of political will among government leadership to enact reforms and accused Poroshenko's right-hand man in parliament of graft.