Ukraine’s Defense Minister has said he will do everything in his power to assist his successor should President Zelensky ask for his resignation.
“For me, the main goal is the victory of Ukraine,” Oleksiy Reznikov said during a press conference on Sunday Feb. 5.
In response to a question from Kyiv Post about his possible future role in helping bring this about, he added: “According to the decision of the President and with the support of the parliament, anyone who will be the Minister of Defense will receive my support, advice, consultations and personal introduction to those (international) Ministers of Defense with whom I have personal relations and communications, if desired.”
Rumours about Reznikov’s future and his possible resignation have been swirling for days. Last week it was reported he had expressed a desire to resign back in the summer, but he was not allowed to because of the upcoming Ramstein meeting.
Reznikov’s Defense Ministry has also recently been mired in accusations of corruption and last month his deputy resigned along with a number of other senior Ukrainian officials after the publication of an investigation by Ukrainian media outlet ZN (Mirror Weekly).
Speaking on Sunday, Reznikov said an internal audit at the ministry was underway but he neither confirmed nor denied he would be leaving his post and reiterated that the final decision lay with President Zelensky.
"It is one person – the commander-in-chief, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – who decides whether I will be defence minister or not," he said.
Ukrainska Pravda has reported Reznikov, who studied law, might be appointed justice minister.
The Defense Minister has played a key role in securing weapons from Ukraine’s Western partners, most recently the pledge of heavy tanks from countries including Germany and the U.S. Kyiv is now pushing for longer-range missiles and fighter jets.
Reznikov said a “huge distance has been covered” though “we still have to agree on the planes”.
“I am convinced that our international partners have faith in the victory of Ukraine, it will remain, and they will continue to support us,” he added.
Last week in exclusive comments to Kyiv Post, Reznikov said he would continue to fight for Ukraine “regardless of status or position”.
He added: “There are still planes on my wish list to Santa. I believe in the victory of Ukraine and I will do everything for this.”
One of the candidates being touted to replace him is the head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov.
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