KIEV - Ukraine's Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk has tendered his resignation after a leaked audio recording apparently revealed him criticising the president.

A voice sounding like Mr Honcharuk's, but not officially confirmed as his, says President Volodymyr Zelensky only has a "primitive" grasp of economics.

Mr Honcharuk also appears to admit that he himself is not good at economics.

Mr Zelensky, a TV comedian and businessman, was elected last April.

The audiotape affair comes at a difficult time for him, as his relations with President Donald Trump are under intense scrutiny. The US president is being impeached for allegedly trying to pressure Mr Zelensky into investigating political rival Joe Biden.

It remains unclear whether Mr Honcharuk genuinely intends to step down, Reuters news agency reports, quoting him as saying "do not jump to conclusions", when asked about his resignation.

The controversial audiotape was uploaded to an anonymous YouTube channel on Wednesday evening. Mr Honcharuk, 35, was apparently discussing the national budget with some other government ministers and finance chiefs.

Writing on social media, Mr Honcharuk said the recordings had been edited from several fragments of government meetings to create the false impression that he did not respect the president.

Mr Zelensky's office has confirmed receiving the resignation offer and says the president will now decide whether to accept it.

It's unlikely that Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky is really upset about the comments made by his Prime Minister.

They're probably true.

Mr Zelensky's professional background is not as an economist but a comedian and a television producer.

His incredible rise to power last year was based around him being an "everyman" figure intent on honestly doing his best. He never claimed to have all the answers.

What may be of more concern for the president is what the leaking of the audio of a top level meeting tells us about his government.

It's confirmation that there are those either within the administration or in the security services determined to drive a wedge between him and a young reform minded Prime Minister.

It's long been known that President Zelensky's team are an uneasy mix of reformers and individuals with links to one of Ukraine's most powerful oligarchs Ihor Kolomoisky.(FA)