Mykola Solskyi ousted as Ukraine's agriculture minister amid NABU’s land seizure probe

Mykola Solskyi in the parliament on May 9
Mykola Solskyi in the parliament on May 9

The Ukrainian parliament dismissed Mykola Solskyi from the post of minister of agrarian policy with 273 votes at a meeting on May 9, MP Oleksii Honcharenko reported on Telegram.

Before his dismissal, the official reported on the work of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy from the parliament rostrum.

Read also: Agriculture minister Solskyi resigns

Solskyi submitted his resignation letter on April 25.

The case against Minister Solskyi

An incumbent minister was exposed in the seizure of state land worth 291 million hryvnias ($7.4 million) and an attempt to seize land worth another 190 million hryvnias ($4.8 million), Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau reported on April 23. NV's sources said that it was Minister of Agrarian Policy Mykola Solskyi.

The NABU noted that the "criminal group" headed by the top official included officials of the State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre (StateGeoCadastre), as well as the so-called handlers who controlled the activities of these bodies.

According to the NABU, the participants in the scheme ensured the destruction of documents on the basis of which two state-owned enterprises in Sumy Oblast had the right to permanently use land. Due to their absence, the regional StateGeoCadastre body drew up an act of unauthorized occupation of these plots. The plots were then transferred to the ownership of pre-determined citizens under the guise of exercising their right to free land.

Commenting on the NABU's indictment, Solskyi said that the case concerned the period when he was a lawyer, not a minister or parliamentary committee chair.

Solskyi was sent to custody on April 26, but he was released on bail of 75 million hryvnias ($1.9 million).

MP Yaroslav Zheleznyak announced on May 9 that the legislature would dismiss two ministers. In particular, the lawmakers have already decided to discharge the Deputy Prime Minister for the Restoration of Ukraine, Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development Oleksandr Kubrakov. It is not yet known who will head the Ministry of Reconstruction and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Read also: Analyzing NABU’s case against Agriculture Minister Solskyi

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine