Ukrainian President rejects PM’s offer to quit over leaked audiotape scandal

KYIV, Ukraine: The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has rejected a resignation offer by Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk over a leaked audiotape scandal, Eurasia Diary reported.

“I decided to give you a chance,” Mr Zelensky told the prime minister during a “clear the air” meeting. But he said this was dependant on Mr Honcharuk’s ability to tackle a number of pressing issues.

In the tape, a voice sounding like Mr Honcharuk’s says Mr Zelensky only has a “primitive” grasp of economics.

Mr Honcharuk, a 35-year-old trained lawyer, also appears to admit that he himself is not good at economics.

The authenticity of the recording has not been officially confirmed.

Mr Zelensky, a 41-year-old TV comedian and businessman, was elected last April, trouncing President Petro Poroshenko.

The audiotape affair comes at a difficult time for Mr Zelensky, as his relations with President Donald Trump are under intense scrutiny. The US president is being impeached for allegedly trying to pressure Mr Zelensky into investigating political rival Joe Biden.