Ukraine Leader Firm on Gov't Bank

Ukraine Leader Firm on Gov't Bank

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine's president has vowed to keep a bank formerly owned by a powerful tycoon in government hands.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy told an investment conference Tuesday that he would not approve any motion to scrap the 2016 nationalization of PrivatBank, which was owned by billionaire Ihor Kolomoyskyi. The Ukrainian president didn't mention PrivatBank by name but said rumors that he's going to "give back a bank" to its owner are "not true."

Zelenskiy, a former comedian, had business dealings with Kolomoyskyi's media holding during his acting career before he was elected in April. Kolomoyskyi's return to Ukraine from a self-imposed exile stoked speculation that the decision to nationalize his bank could be reversed.

Zelenskiy's stance on PrivatBank has been viewed as a litmus test for his administration's commitment to reforms.