Ukraine’s central bank governor, Valeria Gontareva, resigned on Monday, depriving the country of a tough reformer capable of taking on vested interests at a time when the economy is just recovering from a steep recession.
She warned at a news conference that resistance to change would now increase.
The resignation — effective on May 10 — comes a week after the International Monetary Fund, which supports Ukraine with a $17.5 billion bailout package, said domestic politics could derail crucial reforms such as raising the pension age and lifting a ban on land sales.
Praised by investors and the IMF, Gontareva’s tough anti-crisis measures saw her vilified by some lawmakers and local businessmen. A hate campaign against her included a protester leaving a coffin at her door.
The former investment banker and business partner of President Petro Poroshenko took charge nearly three years ago after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and with Ukraine in the throes of a pro-Russian separatist uprising.