(Adds detail, quotes)
KIEV, March 2 Ukraine's central bank chief
suggested on Thursday she may not stay in her post for much
longer, citing protests that have included a coffin left at her
On Monday, news agency RBK quoted sources as saying Valeriia
Gontareva, who has headed the bank since mid-2014, had decided
Asked if the latest memorandum with the International
Monetary Fund would be the last with her signature on it,
Gontareva told journalists: "That could be the case."
"But I repeat that the central bank makes announcements (of
personnel changes) one month in advance. We have made no such
announcement," she said at a briefing.
Under her stewardship, the central bank has switched to a
flexible hryvnia rate and launched a clean-up of the banking
system that led to the closure of half of Ukraine's lenders and
the nationalisation of its largest, Privatbank.
Her sometimes hardline policies have caused some members of
parliament to call for her to be sacked. There have been
protests by Ukrainians who accuse her of incompetence.
Asked why she thought her tenure could soon be at an end,
Gontareva said small protests could be an indicator of broader
"Yesterday there was a coffin with my head in it at the main
entrance of the central bank," she said. "If the whole country
sees that as normal, then that's that."
Parliament approved Gontareva's appointment at a time of
economic crisis after a pro-European uprising in Kiev triggered
a conflict with Russia-backed separatists, pushing the hryvnia
currency to record lows.
The hryvnia is now relatively stable, trading at around 27
to the dollar, but remains vulnerable to internal and external
Under the constitution, the president is responsible for
choosing and dismissing the central bank governor. Parliament
can vote to remove her but needs the president's backing.
(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice;
Editing by Robin Pomeroy)