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Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, expected to soon be fired by President Volodymyr Zelensky, said that neither the president nor the prime minister offered him the job as Minister for Strategic Industries.
Lawmaker David Arakhamia, head of the governing Servant of the People faction and Ukraine's chief negotiator with Russia, said earlier on Feb. 5 that Reznikov would remain in the government as the Minister for Strategic Industries, overseeing Ukraine's defense sector, describing the move as a "logical" decision given his participation in Ramstein meetings and expertise.
"I can comment that this is news to me. I have not had any conversation about the Ministry of Strategic Industry with the President of Ukraine," Reznikov said in an interview on Feb. 5 with Ukrainian news outlet Fakty.
Reznikov also said that if he had been offered the post, he would have refused, saying that he does "not have the expertise that would allow (him) to be the Minister of Strategic Industries."
In late January, the Defense Ministry was beset by a high-profile corruption scandal that led to the firing of several top officials. Ukrainian newspaper ZN.UA reported on Jan. 21 that the Defense Ministry procured large amounts of food products for the military at inflated prices. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has since opened an investigation into the alleged scheme.
The Defense Ministry's Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov is expected to replace Reznikov, Arakhamia also said on Feb. 5.