Ukraine in the State Department Press Brief

QUESTION:  So Ukraine president has called on the resignation of prime minister and also the prosecutor general, who have been criticized of getting in the way of fighting corruption.  First, I would like to get your stand on this development.  Do you think it’s a good move toward reforms?

MR TONER:  You’re talking about the resignation of the prosecutor general?

QUESTION:  And the prime minister.  The prime minister and the prosecutor general.

MR TONER:  Prosecutor general.  I’m not aware of the prime minister’s resignation.

QUESTION:  Called – they called – he called on the resignation.

MR TONER:  Oh, okay.  I’m sorry.  I just – I just would comment on the prosecutor general.  The announcement to replace him, we believe, is a signal of Ukraine’s seriousness about its reform process.  It’s important to restore the confidence of the Ukrainian people in their justice system, but clearly, there’s an immense amount of work yet to be done in countering corruption, including in the prosecutorial service.

Overall, we recognize that, as I said, there’s a lot more work to be done.  We’re watching developments in Ukraine’s parliament very closely.  I don’t want to speculate too much on other potential outcomes, but we strongly urge all of Ukraine’s political parties to put the needs of their country first.