Head of Zakarpattia Regional State Administration Hennadiy Moskal has sent in his resignation. Moskal’s resignation letter addressed to Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has been available on his website since Friday, May 6.
The governor decided to tender a resignation after the head of the Zakarpattia Customs Office was replaced without his consent, which Moskal calls a step to favor the local “tobacco mafia” he has been fighting for illegal export of tobacco to the EU.
“The situation that resulted in bloodshed in Mukacheve on July 11 2015 (an armed conflict with participation of the militants of the Right Sector - an organization banned in Russia - for control over illegal trade channels) is now repeating in Zakarpattia. I cannot be a passive onlooker. It is impossible to fight illegal traffic in a separate region where the central agencies do nothing to help, quite the contrary, they try to restore the shadow plans,” Moskal says in the letter. He draws an analogy with the efforts of Odessa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili to fight the so-called “nut mafia.” “In Zakarpattia I have to fight the ‘tobacco mafia.’ In fact, we both have failed,” he says.
For conclusion, Moskal complains that the “government has lost control over the situation with illegal production of amber, illegal arms and drugs traffic, crime and other negative processes in the public.” “Now, smugglers are given a full control over Zakarpattia and the illegal traffic of tobacco across the state border has been greenlit. When the fight against smuggling was launched, I was warned against such scenario. Unfortunately, all these warnings have come true,” Moskal says asking Groysman to submit his letter of resignation to the president of Ukraine.
Moskal was appointed as Zakarpattia governor on July 15 2015.