French bank BNP Paribas said Monday it plans to cut 1,600 jobs at its Ukrainian unit UkrSibBank by 2015 due to political uncertainty in the country. A presentation for investors published on its website cited a "challenging environment bolstered by political uncertainties". It added it had closed 84 branches last year as it rationalised its business in the country. UkrSibBank currently has around 500 branches and employs some 7,000 people. Earlier Monday, BNP Paribas chief executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said that UkrSibBank would continue to operate despite the tensions in the country. Three months of demonstrations against a decision by President Viktor Yanukovych to abandon a historic trade and political pact with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia ended with his fleeing the country. While the interim government has signed the pact with the EU, Russia has annexed the strategic Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and there are fears that predominately Russian-speaking regions in eastern Ukraine might also try to secede.