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, said Peter Stano, the Spokesperson of the European External Action Service. In a special statement, he underlines that the Bank must maintain its ability to fulfil its role independently, and undermining this important institution jeopardises the credibility of and support for Ukraine’s reform agenda. According to Stano, Ukraine’s path to reform is challenging, in particular during the coronavirus pandemic. The spokesperson said that the EU would continue “to support Ukraine in the implementation of much-needed reforms, and counts on the Ukrainian authorities to maintain their level of commitment”.
In the statement Peter Stano stressed that “establishing a strong and independent National Bank has been a fundamental achievement for Ukraine, and remains crucial to the country’s future success.” He pointed out that over the past years, the National Bank of Ukraine has taken important steps for Ukraine’s macro-financial stability and sustainable economic recovery. The Bank’s policies, according to the statement, 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.