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Ukraine's Parliament Votes to Fire 2 Officials Over Russian Gas Deal


Ukraine's parliament has voted to dismiss two senior officials over a recent deal that nearly doubled prices for imported Russian gas.

A total of 246 members of Ukraine's parliament Thursday endorsed the dismissal of Justice Minister Serhiy Holovaty and Fuel and Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov. Lawmakers also expressed no-confidence in Oleksiy Ivchenko, head of the state gas company, Naftogaz Ukrainy.

Earlier this month, Ukraine agreed to buy gas from Russia at a rate of $95 per 1,000 cubic meters - up from the previous rate of $50 - following Russia's three-day suspension of deliveries. But the deal triggered a political crisis, and Ukraine's parliament voted to dismiss the government of Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov.

Thursday, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko formally asked the Constitutional Court to decide the legality of the dismissal.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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