In a further sign of the political chaos sweeping the country, rumours are circulating that Valeria Gontareva, Ukraine’s Central Bank chair, is contemplating resignation.
This follows a protest where a coffin was left at the entrance of the Central Bank and a report by the Central Bank that the current coal blockade will lead to a fall of 1.5% in Ukraine’s already sharply reduced GDP.
If Gontareva does resign it will be a serious blow to Ukraine since she is practically the only economic decision maker left in the country who continues to inspire a measure of confidence in the international business community. Since the departure of Ukraine’s former Finance Minister, US born Natalie Jaresko, in April 2016, Gontareva is the last senior Ukrainian official left amongst those who negotiated Ukraine’s bailout agreement with the IMF and Ukraine’s private creditors.
Unsurprisingly Gontareva, who has conventional views on economics, has become increasingly unpopular as she has been blamed for a deterioration in the economy which is largely the work of others.
Gontareva has not yet announced her resignation and it is likely that attempts are being made both by the Ukrainian government and by Ukraine’s Western backers to persuade her to say on. However the fact that she is considering resignation at all is a further sign of how bad the situation in Ukraine has become.