AP Interview: New Ukraine PM vows reform, blames Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ukraine’s new prime minister is vowing to root out corruption and introduce economic reforms in his struggling nation.

Volodymyr Groysman (Voh-loh-dyuh-meer Groys-man) tells The Associated Press his planned reforms include privatizing state enterprises and making the judicial branch more independent.

In an interview Thursday, Groysman also urged Russia to abide by the terms of a cease-fire agreement in the eastern part of the country, where Moscow-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces have been fighting.

Change has been slow in the two years since the previous Ukrainian government fell amid pro-Western protests. Ukraine has been shaken by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and lost more than 9,300 people in fighting with the separatists. But critics say that domestic changes also have stalled and corruption remains a major problem.