Mykola Solskyi Resigns in Ukraine

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Mykola Solskyi popularly known as the Minister of Agriculture in Ukraine has tendered his resignation after being accused of illegal land deals, Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Ruzlan Stefanchuk announced on Facebook on Thursday.

Solskyi is being prosecuted by Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency on suspicion of involvement in the illegal acquisition of 291 million hryvnias (€6.86 million) worth of state land for his agricultural holding and an attempt to acquire other land worth 190 million hryvnias. Prosecutors say the charges relate to events between 2017 and 2021, before he became agriculture minister in March 2022.

The prosecution alleges that the land was illegally taken from two state companies and given to war veterans on the condition that they lease it to private companies. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison.

Solskyi denies the charges against him, insisting he never received any money. He had previously said that in 2017, when he was working as a lawyer, he represented private individuals in a dispute with state-owned companies over land in the Sumy province.

The EU accession process has prompted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to crack down on corruption, and last year he replaced his defense minister after corruption cases emerged at the defense ministry.

The minister’s resignation will be considered by the legislature at one of the upcoming plenary sessions.

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