Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has not accepted Prime Minister Olesksiy Honcharuk's resignation as he would like to give a chance to the head of government and his team, yet a number of tasks should be completed.
"I've decided to give you and your government a chance if you address some of the things that are very important and are of concern to our society today," the president said on Friday at a meeting with Honcharuk, after the latter tendered a letter of resignation. "Now is not the time to undermine the state's economic and political spheres."
According to the presidential press service, the government should give the head of state a new concept of salaries for the heads of ministries, departments, state-owned companies and their deputies, taking into account the situation in the country.
"The salary should be normal. We understand that these are very serious specialists, but I want to be on the same page with you and the ministers to know that salaries in Ukraine now should be correlated with the current economic situation. When you and your government achieve economic growth, it will be possible to increase the salaries," the president said.
Recently, there have been reports about decisions to considerably increase salaries of ministers and heads of state-owned companies.
The ministers who do not want to work for the salary proposed by the government will have to resign, Zelensky said.
"Salaries should be normal – enough to live normally, and must correspond to the status of officials," he added.
He also outlined a number of other tasks for the prime minister.
As was reported, audio recordings allegedly from a meeting in which Prime Minister Honcharuk, Finance Minister Oksana Markarova, First Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Kateryna Rozhkova, Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Yulia Kovaliv and other officials took part were made public on social media on January 15.
During the conversation, they discussed economic issues before going to a meeting with President Zelensky.
On the records, a man with a voice supposedly similar to Honcharuk's, in particular, calls himself a "complete ignoramus" on economic issues.
On January 17, Honcharuk said on Facebook he had handed in a letter of resignation over to Zelensky.
The president, in turn, met with senior officials of the Security Service of Ukraine, the Office of the Prosecutor General, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the State Bureau of Investigation and the State Security Administration, and tasked them to identify within two weeks those involved in the recording of the conversation. In addition, Zelensky insisted that necessary measures be elaborated to eliminate similar incidents in the future and to technically protect information.