UKRAINE MONITOR

Date: 30 September 2019

Danylyuk’s dismissal. Kolomoyskyi was the reason?

Oleksandr Danylyuk is no longer the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine. One of the main representatives of the reformers in Volodymyr Zelensky’s staff probably resigned because he could not accept making concessions to oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi. It is not known yet how the resignation of Danylyuk, one of the most pro-Western politicians in the ruling camp, will influence Ukrainian politics.

SOURCE: PRESIDENT.GOV.UA

Yet during the presidential campaign, Oleksandr Danylyuk was considered to be one of the key members of Zelensky’s staff. After the victory of the current president, it was speculated that Danylyuk might get the position of a minister of finance, foreign affairs or even prime minister. Eventually, he entered the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) which even then might have been considered as a political exile and a sign that the group of reformers within Zelensky’s staff would be marginalized and the decisive role in the new government will be given to the president’s friends from his previous business activity and people of Ihor Kolomoyskyi. And he was probably the reason why Danylyuk decided to leave the president’s staff.

Since July 2014, Danylyuk was the representative of the then-president Petro Poroshenko in the Council of Ministers and since September 2015 – the deputy of the head of the presidential administration. In April 2016, Danylyuk has become the Minister of Finance in the government of Volodymyr Groysman. After the conflict with the head of government, whom he accused of inhibiting the reform of the State Fiscal Service, he was dismissed in June 2018. When at the turn of 2018 and 2019 Zelensky announced that he would run for the presidency, Danylyuk appeared in his staff. Before the spring presidential elections in Ukraine, the 44-year-old man was Zelensky’s foreign policy and economic adviser. However, after the elections, Zelensky “exiled” him to the defence sector: he took the position of Secretary of NSDC at the end of May 2019. Occupying this position, he was one of the most pro-Western officials within the new presidential administration.

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Danylyuk resigned on September 27, just before Zelensky’s flight to the USA. President of Ukraine accepted the resignation after his return and on September 30 he signed a decree on Danylyuk’s deposition. At first, it was speculated that Danylyuk might become an ambassador in the USA or Great Britain. However, it seems that he leaves the ruling camp for good. According to the speculations of the Ukrainian media, the resignation could have been caused by the conflict with Head of the Presidential Administration Andriy Bohdan. He is a trusted lawyer and coworker of Kolomoyskyi. He is considered as the main link between the oligarch and the president. It is necessary to remember that Kolomoyskyi supported Zelensky’s campaign; he even boasts that he invented Zelensky’s candidacy. Now he expects profits. Despite the pressure, Zelensky does not want to break off close relations with Kolomoyskyi and it is still not known whether the oligarch will receive compensation for the nationalization of Privatbank. And Danlyluk, as a Minister of Finance, in 2016 was supervising the nationalization of the bank which was almost led to bankruptcy during the times of Kolomoyskyi. Therefore, he probably did not want to make any concessions to the oligarch in that matter.

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