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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine Energy Minister Quits

KIEV -- The tight energy situation in Ukraine became even more tense after the country's Fuel and Energy Minister Serhiy Tulub announced his resignation Thursday to protest government policies in the sector.

"I cannot fulfill the tasks that the president has determined while working in the aggressive atmosphere that surrounded me and my ministry,'' Tulub said.

The government has recently launched changes to the energy sector and announced plans to privatize regional energy distribution companies and other enterprises.

But Tulub charged that the government actually wanted to give control of the energy sector to a selected group of businessmen while avoiding real reform.

Ukraine's debt to Russia for natural gas totals about $2 billion, while its own energy sector is plagued by barter operations.